China’s coronavirus death toll reaches 1,770 – World – TASS

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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.

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Kunal Kamra sends legal notice to IndiGo airlines; demands public apology, Rs 25 lakhs compensation, revocation of ban

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Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra, who was banned from flying with IndiGo airlines for six months amid recent controversies, has now sent a legal notice to the airlines demanding a public apology and an amount of Rs 25 lakh for “causing mental pain and agony”, as well as the revocation of the ban.

On Tuesday, IndiGo airlines had suspended the comedian from flying with the airlines for six months following his ‘unacceptable behaviour’ onboard the flight. This came after Kamra had posted a video on social media on Tuesday, which shortly went viral. In the video, it could be heard that the comedian was throwing a series of questions at an anchor of a popular broadcast news media network, Arnab Goswami, inside an IndiGo airlines flight. The comedian was also heard making several comments regarding the anchor’s journalistic ethics.

IndiGo airlines had also tagged the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri in the Twitter post where it informed of the ban.

@MoCA_GoI @HardeepSPuri In light of the recent incident on board 6E 5317 from Mumbai to Lucknow, we wish to inform that we are suspending Mr. Kunal Kamra from flying with IndiGo for a period of six months, as his conduct onboard was unacceptable behaviour. 1/2

— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E)

Union Minister Hardeep Puri also called Kunal Kamra’s behaviour “offensive” and “designed to provoke and create disturbance inside an aircraft”. It is “unacceptable and endangers the safety of air travellers,” he said. Following the precedent set by Indigo; Air India, SpiceJet, and GoAir airlines, too, had on Wednesday suspended stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra from flying with the airlines until further notice.

However, several critics later pointed out the reported inconsistency in the airline’s actions. It has been highlighted that, according to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) guidelines, the normal procedure regarding any complaint dictates that an internal committee be formed by the airlines within 30 days to probe the complaint. Moreover, the committee’s decision can later be challenged in an appellate body of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and a court. Without following any of these procedures, a direct ban of six months seems somewhat arbitrary, critics have pointed out.

Moreover, DGCA guidelines list three categories of passengers who are prevented from flying. The category which matches Kamra’s alleged actions – “disruptive behaviour” – only carries a three-month ban. The other two which are unlikely to match the comedian’s actions – “physically abusive behaviour” and “endangering aircraft and passengers” – carry six-months and two-years bans respectively. 

Moreover, the pilot who was operating the flight has now pitched in his opinions on the matter. The pilot has penned a letter to the airlines expressing his concerns over the airlines taking action ‘without consulting the Pilot-in-Command’.

In the letter that the pilot of the aircraft has now penned to the airlines, he stated that he did not observe any physical contact between the two individuals involved in the controversy. Moreover, he said that he had noticed Kamra was gesticulating to Goswami, who was unresponsive.

“I did not observe any physical contact between the two gentlemen at any point. I made a Passenger Address to the cabin asking the gentleman standing in the passenger aisle near Row 1 to return to his seat,” the pilot expressed in his letter.

The pilot further penned that even though Kamra’s behaviour was unacceptable and verbally abusive, he had complied with the instructions of the flight crew.

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Simi showers encomium on Adekunle Gold as they celebrate wedding anniversary

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Simi has taken to Instagram to shower encomium on Adekunle Gold, as the celebrity couple are celebrating their wedding anniversary.

Earlier today, Adekunle Gold took to social media to celebrate his wife, and she has also done the same to share a lengthy post on her Instagram page to celebrate their special day.

See what she wrote below;

Pretty baby. The very thing that you mean to me, I doubt you’ll ever fully understand. I don’t like to share our best moments, because they belong to us – so people might never even know the level of your special. It’s a really high level that is higher than other levels. No one is more in sync with me than you.

I love how you’re mindful of me. Nothing’s perfect. Not even with your Ikotun background 🤦🏾‍♀️ – but I love how you deliberately want to be better. You will see something inside film and ask me at 2am how you can be a better man for me. Lol. So cute a man.

Before we said I do, 95% of the advice I got was “Endure”. I was stumped cos I’ve never been able to relate. Endure? Forever and ever? Like till the end of your days? Lol. Quite rubbish. Thank you for never ever being someone I’ve ever had to endure.

Don’t like it much when people “couplegoals” us – cos as far as I’m concerned, we, i.e me and you, are on a personal journey. Our ups our downs (Olorun o ni je ka rogun down), our growth, our learning and unlearning, our Love (aww) is our story. Everyone’s standard should be their best self. Thank you for being someone that makes me want to be my best self.

Moruf, thank you for Year One. They said it’s normally hard. Again, I can’t relate because I loved it. I love you. I pray year two is even better by God’s infinite mercy and grace and love. I thank God for standing with us and giving us sense. And I thank you for being a man that makes loving you worth it.

My beautiful dreamboat. My fellow feminist boyfriend. My husband. Ife mi. Onitemi. The love of my life. I will continue to eat your work in the eye of carton. 🥂 to all the forevers we will spend together.

PS: Year two is one or two sentences. I have what I’m doing❤️.
.
PPS: Everyone, please whatever chance you get today, say a prayer for us. I love those 💙

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Simi’s Pens Sweet Words To Adekunle Gold On Ther First Wedding Anniversary

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Simi and Adekunle Gold
Simi and Adekunle Gold

Nigerian singer Simi has gotten many in their feelings with her wedding anniversary message to her husband, Adekunle Gold.

The ‘Joromi crooner took to her Instagram page to share a beautiful photo from their wedding and penned a beautiful lengthy piece for her man which reads thus;l

Read also: ‘It’s 2020, I Still Don’t Like Stupid People’: Simi

”Pretty baby. The very thing that you mean to me, I doubt you’ll ever fully understand. I don’t like to share our best moments, because they belong to us – so people might never even know the level of your special. It’s a really high level that is higher than other levels. No one is more in sync with me than you.

“I love how you’re mindful of me. Nothing’s perfect. Not even with your Ikotun background 🤦🏾‍♀️ – but I love how you deliberately want to be better. You will see something inside film and ask me at 2am how you can be a better man for me. Lol. So cute a man.

“Before we said I do, 95% of the advice I got was “Endure”. I was stumped cos I’ve never been able to relate. Endure? Forever and ever? Like till the end of your days? Lol. Quite rubbish. Thank you for never ever being someone I’ve ever had to endure.

“Don’t like it much when people “couplegoals” us – cos as far as I’m concerned, we, i.e me and you, are on a personal journey. Our ups our downs (Olorun o ni je ka rogun down), our growth, our learning and unlearning, our Love (aww) is our story. Everyone’s standard should be their best self. Thank you for being someone that makes me want to be my best self.

“Moruf, thank you for Year One. They said it’s normally hard. Again, I can’t relate because I loved it. I love you. I pray year two is even better by God’s infinite mercy and grace and love. I thank God for standing with us and giving us sense. And I thank you for being a man that makes loving you worth it.”

“My beautiful dreamboat. My fellow feminist boyfriend. My husband. Ife mi. Onitemi. The love of my life. I will continue to eat your work in the eye of carton. 🥂 to all the forevers we will spend together.”

PS: Year two is one or two sentences. I have what I’m doing❤.
.
PPS: Everyone, please whatever chance you get today, say a prayer for us. I love those 💙

The post Simi’s Pens Sweet Words To Adekunle Gold On Ther First Wedding Anniversary appeared first on Information Nigeria.

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Facebook keeps policy protecting political ads | ABS-CBN News

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Facebook logos are seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Dec. 2, 2019. Johanna Geron, Reuters/file

SAN FRANCISCO — Defying pressure from Congress, Facebook said on Thursday that it would continue to allow political campaigns to use the site to target advertisements to particular slices of the electorate and that it would not police the truthfulness of the messages sent out.

The stance put Facebook, the most important digital platform for political ads, at odds with some of the other large tech companies, which have begun to put new limits on political ads.

Facebook’s decision, telegraphed in recent months by executives, is likely to harden criticism of the company heading into this year’s presidential election.

Political advertising cuts to the heart of Facebook’s outsize role in society, and the company has found itself squeezed between liberal critics, who want it to do a better job of policing its various social media platforms, and conservatives, who say their views are being unfairly muzzled.

The issue has raised important questions regarding how heavy a hand technology companies like Facebook — which also owns Instagram and the messaging app WhatsApp — and Google should exert when deciding what types of political content they will and will not permit.

By maintaining a status quo, Facebook executives are essentially saying they are doing the best they can without government guidance and see little benefit to the company or the public in changing.

In a blog post, a company official echoed Facebook’s earlier calls for lawmakers to set firm rules.

“In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies,” Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management overseeing the advertising integrity division, said in the post. “We have based ours on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public.”

Other social media companies have decided otherwise, and some had hoped Facebook would quietly follow their lead. In late October, Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, banned all political advertising from his network, citing the challenges that novel digital systems present to civic discourse. Google quickly followed suit with limits on political ads across some of its properties, though narrower in scope.

Reaction to Facebook’s policy broke down largely along party lines.

The Trump campaign, which has been highly critical of any attempts by technology companies to regulate political advertising and has already spent more than $27 million on the platform, largely supported Facebook’s decision not to interfere in targeting ads or to set fact-checking standards.

“Our ads are always accurate so it’s good that Facebook won’t limit political messages because it encourages more Americans to be involved in the process,” said Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign. “This is much better than the approaches from Twitter and Google, which will lead to voter suppression.”

Democratic presidential candidates and outside groups decried the decision.

“Facebook is paying for its own glowing fake news coverage, so it’s not surprising they’re standing their ground on letting political figures lie to you,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on Twitter.

Warren, who has been among the most critical of Facebook and regularly calls for major tech companies to be broken up, reiterated her stance that the social media company should face tougher policies.

The Biden campaign was similarly critical. The campaign has confronted Facebook over an ad run by President Donald Trump’s campaign that attacked Joe Biden’s record on Ukraine.

“Donald Trump’s campaign can (and will) still lie in political ads,” Bill Russo, the deputy communications director for Biden, said in a statement. “Facebook can (and will) still profit off it. Today’s announcement is more window dressing around their decision to allow paid misinformation.”

But many Democratic groups willing to criticize Facebook had to walk a fine line; they have pushed for more regulation when it comes to fact-checking political ads, but they have been adamantly opposed to any changes to the ad-targeting features.

On Thursday, some Democratic outside groups welcomed Facebook’s decision not to limit micro-targeting, but still thought the policy fell short.

“These changes read to us mostly as a cover for not making the change that is most vital: ensuring politicians are not allowed to use Facebook as a tool to lie to and manipulate voters,” said Madeline Kriger, who oversees digital ad buying at Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC.

Other groups, however, said Facebook had been more thoughtful about political ads than its industry peers.

“Facebook opted against limiting ad targeting, because doing so would have unnecessarily restricted a valuable tool that campaigns of all sizes rely on for fundraising, registering voters, building crowds and organizing volunteers,” said Tara McGowan, chief executive of Acronym, a non-profit group that works on voter organization and progressive causes.

Facebook has played down the business opportunity in political ads, saying the vast majority of its revenue came from commercial, not political, ads. But lawmakers have noted that Facebook ads could be a focal point of Trump’s campaign as well as those of top Democrats.

Facebook’s hands-off ad policy has already allowed for misleading advertisements. In October, a Facebook ad from the Trump campaign made false accusations about Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. The ad quickly went viral and was viewed by millions. After the Biden campaign asked Facebook to take down the ad, the company refused.

“Our approach is grounded in Facebook’s fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process and the belief that, in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is,” Facebook’s head of global elections policy, Katie Harbath, wrote in the letter to the Biden campaign.

In an attempt to provoke Facebook, Warren’s presidential campaign ran an ad falsely claiming that the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, was backing the reelection of Trump. Facebook did not take the ad down.

Criticism seemed to stiffen Zuckerberg’s resolve. Company officials said he and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s president, had ultimately made the decision to stand firm.

In a strongly worded speech at Georgetown University in October, Zuckerberg said he believed in the power of unfettered speech, including in paid advertising, and did not want to be in the position to police what politicians could and could not say to constituents. Facebook’s users, he said, should be allowed to make those decisions for themselves.

“People having the power to express themselves at scale is a new kind of force in the world — a Fifth Estate alongside the other power structures of society,” he said.

Facebook officials have repeatedly said significant changes to its rules for political or issue ads could harm the ability of smaller, less well-funded organizations to raise money and organize across the network.

Instead of overhauling its policies, Facebook has made small tweaks. Leathern said Facebook would add greater transparency features to its library of political advertising in the coming months, a resource for journalists and outside researchers to scrutinize the types of ads run by the campaigns.

Facebook also will add a feature that allows users to see fewer campaign and political issue ads in their news feeds, something the company has said many users have requested.

There was considerable debate inside Facebook about whether it should change. Late last year, hundreds of employees supported an internal memo that called on Zuckerberg to limit the abilities of Facebook’s political advertising products.

On Dec. 30, Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook’s virtual and augmented reality division, wrote on his internal Facebook page that, as a liberal, he found himself wanting to use the social network’s powerful platform against Trump.

But Bosworth said that even though keeping the current policies in place “very well may lead to” Trump’s reelection, it was the right decision. Dozens of Facebook employees pushed back on Bosworth’s conclusions, arguing in the comments section below his post that politicians should be held to the same standard that applies to other Facebook users.

For now, Facebook appears willing to risk disinformation in support of unfettered speech.

“Ultimately, we don’t think decisions about political ads should be made by private companies,” Leathern said. “Frankly, we believe the sooner Facebook and other companies are subject to democratically accountable rules on this, the better.”

2020 The New York Times Company

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My daughter was buried on church premises –LASU undergraduate’s father

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* Osun pastor, mother, son kill victim for money rituals

Pastor David Daley-Oladele, whose daughter, Favour, was gruesomely murdered allegedly by one Owolabi Adeeko; his mother, identified simply as Mrs Adeeko; and the pastor of a white garment church, Segun Philip, in the Ikoyi-Ile area of Osun State, has stated that the dismembered body of the victim was buried on the church premises, Punch reports.

PUNCH Metro gathered that Favour, a 400-level undergraduate of the Department of Theatre Arts, Lagos State University, after a short visit to her parents in the Mowe area of Ogun State, departed for school on December 8, 2019, but while on her way, she went to see Owolabi, said to be her boyfriend, at an undisclosed location.

Owolabi reportedly lured Favour to the Ikoyi-Ile area around Apomu and Ikire, Osun State, where he reportedly connived with his mother and Philip to kill and use the 22-year-old’s body parts for money ritual.

When they got to Ikoyi-Ile, it was learnt that Owolabi took the victim to the Fortress Hotel, where he allegedly drugged her and brought her to Philip’s church and used a pestle to smash her head while she was asleep.

Immediately after perpetrating the act, Philip was alleged to have used a knife to slit Favour’s throat.

The self-styled pastor reportedly ripped Favour’s chest open, removed her heart and used it to prepare a concoction for Owolabi and his mother to eat.

The concoction was said to be part of the rituals to boost the financial standing of Owolabi and his mother.

Favour’s sudden disappearance and the inability to communicate with her had become a source of concern to her parents, whose efforts to trace her to LASU and her hostel off the campus proved abortive.

The deceased’s father, David, said a case of a missing person was later reported to the police, who tracked her mobile phone’s location to Ikoyi-Ile.

While demanding justice for his daughter, David said the suspects, after perpetrating the crime, buried Favour’s remains in front of the church.

He stated, “She came home for a short visit and was to go back to school for her final examination. But while at home, she received a phone call from an anonymous person and told us that she would be seeing a friend on her way to school. But when it got late, I called her phone but it was unreachable; her mother could also not contact her.

“On Monday and Tuesday, she didn’t call and her number was still not going through, so, we went to search for her in school and her hostel, but she was nowhere to be found. I also went to hospitals and mortuaries to search for her but did not see her, so, I went to report at the Mowe Police Station.

“It was from the police station that a tracker traced her phone to Ikoyi-Ile in Osun State and we all mobilised to the place. The location looks like a jungle and the church was inside a very thick bush; the suspects were arrested. I saw a black Honda parked on the church premises and also where they buried my daughter in front of the church.

“I want justice. My wife is seriously ill; I had to rush her to the Biobatam Hospital in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos. Her illness is because of stress and as a result of what happened. This is a trying time for me.”

David wife’s sister, Peygo Ogu, explained, “My sister’s condition is critical. She had been ill before the incident, but what happened to her daughter compounded her condition.”

The Police Public Relations Officer, Ogun State, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said three suspects had been arrested, adding that the state Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, had transferred the case to the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for proper investigation.

Oyeyemi stated, “The deceased was reported to have left home to an unknown destination since Sunday, December 8, 2019, and had not been seen since then, hence she was reported missing by her parents at the Mowe Police Station. Upon the report, the DPO, Mowe Division, Marvis Jayeola, detailed his crack detectives to unravel the mystery behind Favour’s sudden disappearance.

“The detectives went into full-scale technical and forensic investigation of the case and their efforts paid off when the movement of the deceased was traced to a white garment church in far away Ikoyi-Ile in Osun State.

“The church was being shepherded by Segun Philip, and on getting to the church, the self-acclaimed pastor was promptly arrested, but he was quick to inform the detectives that the girl was brought to him by her boyfriend, Owolabi Adeeko, who was still within the vicinity of the church. The said boyfriend was traced and apprehended.

“On interrogation, Owolabi Adeeko confessed to the police that the deceased was his girlfriend and that he lured her to Ikoyi-Ile, where he had perfected plans with the so-called pastor Segun Philip to use her for money rituals. He stated further that while the girl was sleeping, the pastor gave him a pestle with which he used to smash her head and the pastor quickly used a knife to cut off her neck, ripped open her chest and removed her heart, which he used in preparing a concoction for him and his mother to eat.”

Oyeyemi explained that Owolabi, during interrogation, confessed to having perpetrated the crime to boost his family’s financial state, adding that Philip demanded a human being for the rituals.

The PPRO stated, “When asked what pushed him into such a devilish act, Owolabi explained that he decided to go into money rituals because things were not going well with his parents, especially his mother, who is the breadwinner of the family; and when he sought assistance from the pastor, he was asked to bring a human being for that purpose and the only available person at that time was his girlfriend.

“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, has ordered the immediate transfer of the suspects to the Homicide Section of the SCIID for proper investigation. Ebrimson, who described the gruesome murder of the deceased as a high degree of wickedness, vowed to ensure that the suspects face the full wrath of the law.”

Some LASU students, who were shocked by Favour’s death, are demanding justice for their late school mate.

A Twitter user, @Lasu_PR, who chronicled the circumstances surrounding Favour’s death, alleged that Owolabi was an ex-student of the institution and met the victim two months ago.

He tweeted, “It’s important for us to appreciate the good work of the investigating officers but what is most troublesome is that the duo of Owolabi Adeeko and Prophet Segun Philip were boasting.”

@RUCCIFIED tweeted, “We truly hope that the @LASUOfficial, together with the @lagosstategov and other state and federal law agencies against brutality and evil practices would lend a voice and take action to ensure that the culprits are brought to book.”

The Coordinator, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations, LASU, Ademola Adekoya, said in a statement that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, had called for calm among the undergraduates, stating that law enforcement agents were on top of the matter.

The statement read in part, “The university management hereby commiserates with the parents and other family members of the deceased, Favour Dailey-Oladele, the staff and students of the department and the entire university community. The police have assured us that justice will be served in this case as the perpetrators of this heinous crime will be charged immediately the investigation is concluded.

“The vice-chancellor, on behalf of the university management, hereby calls for caution on this issue on the part of students and requests that they remain calm to allow law enforcement agents to conclude their work. He assured all that the university will continue to monitor the case.”

Also reacting, the President, Students’ Union Government, LASU, Oluwatayo Oladele, said, “We want justice for Favour; my executive and I have visited the family members of the deceased and we also visited the police station handling the case to get some information regarding the ongoing investigation.”

When one of our correspondents contacted the Osun State Police Command on Sunday, it said the Ogun command was handling the matter.

The spokesperson for the command, Folasade Odoro, said in a text message in response to enquiries on the case, “Call Ogun PPRO for details; thanks.”

By: Deji Lambo, Daud Olatunji and Bola Bamigbola

The post My daughter was buried on church premises –LASU undergraduate’s father appeared first on TheNigerialawyer.

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Manwatū rugby mourns the death of ‘elder statesman’ Owen Gleeson | Stuff.co.nz

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WARWICK SMITH/STUFF
Owen Gleeson came from a staunch Manwatū rugby family and was regarded with respect as one of the union’s elder statesmen.

Manawatū rugby is reeling from the loss of another well-respected elder, after the death of  87-year-old Owen Gleeson at the weekend.

Gleeson was regarded as the elder statesman of Manawatū rugby after a long and storied career as a player, coach, president and life member of the Manwatū Rugby Union.

Union chairman Tim Myers said the rugby community had lost another legend,  just a week after the sudden death of former All Black Sam Strahan.

Both men were staunch supporters of Manawatū rugby, who made great contributions to the sport. “Like Sam, Owen was a true gentleman who will be missed by all who came into contact with him. Our thoughts are with his family,” Myers said.

Gleeson, standing on the right, served with the K Force in Korea.

Gleeson started his career as a flanker for the Feilding and Marist teams, before he was deployed to the Korean War in 1952, after volunteering to serve.

Gleeson was part of the New Zealand Kayforce rugby team, drawn from those serving in the Korean War, that toured Japan in 1953.

 After returning home, he played 24 games for Manawatū between 1954 and 1957.

The Gleeson name is a big one in Manawatū rugby. His son Mark Gleeson is a Manawatū Rugby Union board member, and Gleeson’s career began in the footsteps of his father William and his older brother Jack.

Jack Gleeson is a legendary All Black coaches, who led the team’s first grand slam tour of Britain for 50 years in 1978.

But first, he was the Manawatū coach, before handing the reins over to his little brother in 1970.

Rugby historian and chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Mueseum in Palmerston North Clive Akers said the younger Gleeson was also a great coach, with a real eye for talent, and his four years as Manawatū selector and coach left a big mark on the team.

Akers said he always thought Gleeson deserved to share the credit with his successor for the province’s famous Ranfurly Shield win in 1976.

The match against Auckland was Manawatū’s 13th challenge for the shield and its first win. Coincidently, Manawatū would fend off 13 challenges before losing the shield in 1978.

SUE WILSON/STUFF
Three legends of Manawatū rugby, pictured in 2011, from left, Hugh Blair, Sam Strahan, and Owen Gleeson.

Akers said it was Gleeson who systematically built and recruited a talented pool of younger players, largely from among Massey University students. Players such as Doug Rollerston and winger Hugh Blair went on to play a big part in the team’s Shield success.

After his coaching days, Gleeson continued to contribute to the Manawtū union, including a stint as president.

“He was very well respected and a top bloke. He was regarded as the elder statesman of Manawatū rugby,” Akers said.

​”Losing Sam Strahan was a big blow and now we’ve lost Owen too.”

Both men were always around to offer advice to the younger generations and tried to make every game despite their advancing years. Although, Gleeson’s declining health meant he couldn’t get to as many as he’d of liked in later years, Akers said.

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ActionAid Nigeria advocates death penalty for corrupt officers

As Nigerians join the rest of the world to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), has advocated for a death penalty for corrupt officers in the country.

Obi was speaking in Abuja on Monday, during a rally to mark the day which has the theme: “United Against Corruption. My constituency, my project.”

She regretted that many people, who had looted the economy, were moving freely in their houses and even sitting in the parliament, urging Nigerians to stand up against such characters.

She called on public officers owing salaries to do the needful so as not to encourage people to get involved in corrupt tendencies.

According to her, the government should ask themselves how many hospitals and schools they have built to improve the society.

“We are standing here today because many women are dying in our hospitals due to the poor healthcare system; many young Nigerians are in the universities without allowances.

“We are standing here today because somebody gave us scholarship. Many years ago, our colonial masters gave scholarships to build human capital that will build Nigeria. The story is different today.

“What is happening to our education? Our public schools have been rendered almost powerless. Many people have so many houses; why do you have so many houses when you can sleep on only one bed at a time?

“We stand here to say that all those who are found guilty and charged for corruption should be brought to book.

“I want to advocate that those who are looting the economy should be sentenced to death if found guilty.”

Obi, however, called on the Nigerian government to stand against corruption, especially since President Muhammadu Buhari had vowed to fight the menace.

She, therefore, said that corruption should be fought from all fronts, and called on those in government, who had been indicted in corruption cases, to step down from office.

ALSO READ: FG recorded significant successes in fight against corruption — TUGAR

Mr Newton Otsamaye, Manager, Strengthening Citizens Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) project, an NGO, said that there was the need for a consensus to end corruption in the country.

“We are collaborating with civil society groups, ICPC, NOA so that we can have collective engagement to end corruption.

“As Nigerians, we are tired of living without water, hospitals, good roads and transparent government. We are here to join other voices to end corruption in our government, Churches, families, schools, parliament and executive.”

Otsamaye called on communities to report abandoned projects in their various constituencies to ICPC.
Mrs Rasheeda Okoduwa, Director, Public Enlightenment, ICPC, in her remarks, said that corruption should be fought to a standstill from the home before it spread to the wider society.

She emphasised the need for Nigerians to report corruption cases to ICPC to enable it bring those involved to book, saying that there was no hiding place for corrupt officers.

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Buhari reacts to death of Abubakar – Daily Post Nigeria

person surfboard

President Muhammadu Buhari has paid tribute to Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Wabili, Sarkin Malamai, Gombe who died on Friday.

He described him as a man of impeccable integrity who unshakably stood by him before and after his foray into politics.

Wabili was Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice when the President, then an Army Colonel, served as the Military Governor of the defunct Northeastern State, now made up of six states.

Speaking through a delegation he sent to Gombe, led by the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, President Buhari said it was rare these days to find men like the deceased who stubbornly held onto principles, standing for what they believed in, come rain or shine.

He recalled that from the moment he made up his mind to join partisan politics, the late Sarkin Malamai was part of a small group who sat down with him to draw his vision and programme of action to the voting public during the three times he ran for the presidency, until the fourth when he was elected.

‘‘He was in politics, not to make gains or hold positions but to see to the actualization of the vision for a greater Nigeria that we commonly shared. I remain appreciative of the intellectual and other forms of contributions he made to me since we started. May his soul Rest In Peace,” the President said.

At Government House Gombe the delegation was received by Governor Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya.

The Presidential delegation condoled with the government and people of Gombe State over the loss of the senior citizen and active elder of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who was committed to the party’s ideal until his demise.

Governor Yahaya of Gombe State thanked the President for sending a delegation to commiserate with the people of Gombe over the passing of Wabili.

“Your visit has given us succor. He lived a good life and lived for long.

‘‘He was an inspiration to Gombe State, the Northern geopolitical region and the Nation as a whole. He remained steadfast in support of Mr. President and we appreciate all he had been able to accomplish,” the governor said.

He assured the President that Gombe will continue to support the good policies of his administration to improve the welfare of Nigerians.

At the residence of the deceased, Sarkin Malamai, the family spokesman Alhaji Jibril Dukku also thanked the President for sharing in their grief.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Ali Pantami, the Senior Special Assistants to the President, Ya’u Darazo and Garba Shehu, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi and the Dan Madami of Daura, Musa Haro were on the delegation.

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Scientologist says the church is telling Clearwater members not to vote for Mark Bunker

person
[Mark Bunker and Pat Harney]

One of our readers in Clearwater, Florida describes themselves as someone who recently began having doubts about the organization and for a few weeks has been looking around the Internet about Scientology, including this website.

They reached out to us to tell us about something remarkable that happened to them this weekend. On Saturday evening they received a blind copy of a mass email from Scientology spokeswoman Pat Harney that apparently went out to all local members of the church…

From: pat.harney@cos.flag.org
Date: November 30, 2019 at 6:47 PM EST
To: Pat Harney Subject: Please call Pat Harney at the OSA Office


Hello,

Do you live in Clearwater?

This is very important.

Please call me at the OSA office number at 727-467-6860 for a short survey.

Best,
Pat Harney
Director of Public Relations
Office of Special Affairs

When our reader called, they were asked to wait to get Harney herself on the phone. When she did, she asked our reader if they lived in Clearwater. When they said they did, Harney then said that she was reaching out to all local Scientologists to make them aware of an important election coming in March 2020, the election for Clearwater’s mayor and city council.

Three seats are up for election on the council, Harney explained, but they were especially interested in seat two, and that Scientologists should avoid voting for an “SP” — a “suppressive person,” which is Scientology jargon for an enemy of the church.

The reader astutely asked Harney to name the SP so they would know not to vote for them, and Harney then said it was Mark Bunker.

As for who to vote for, our reader tells us that Harney then said that the church couldn’t tell its members who to vote for.

Well, that’s cute. Pat Harney would know quite well that as a tax exempt religious organization, the Church of Scientology cannot get involved with politics or endorse candidates without risking its tax exempt status. But she apparently thinks the church can stay within the lines if it tells its members who not to vote for.

Mark Bunker, of course, has been very open about his opposition to Scientology and his desire to get elected so he can help Clearwater stop being such a doormat to the aggressive, bullying organization. So it’s really not all that surprising that Scientology wouldn’t want its members to vote for him. But we find it entertaining that the church feels compelled to fire up an OSA operation to get the word out.

“I’m not at all surprised that Scientology is getting out the word that I must be stopped. It’s an unlikely job for a PR person, but Pat Harney and her associates have long been used by Scientology as attack dogs,” Bunker told us when we informed him about the Harney email. “The day after I released a video saying I planned to run, Pat Harney was on the phone to downtown business owners asking, ‘What do you think of Mr. Bunker running for city council?’ and adding, ‘We can’t let him do that.’ I’m sure Scientology will do everything in its power to keep me from winning. It’s what they do but I don’t believe they can succeed. Scientology has spent decades cultivating an oppressive, intimidating facade, gleefully letting people know they are not a ‘turn-the-other-cheek religion.’ Well, people are sick of being intimidated. Everyone I speak with on the campaign trail is excited that someone is willing to take on Scientology.”

We called the number on Harney’s email and we were greeted by a sunny “Public Affairs!” from a young woman. We said that we wanted to speak with Pat Harney and we were put on hold. We were then told she was in a meeting, so we left a message for her and asked her to call us back. We also followed up with a detailed email message to her.

We’ll let you know if she gets back to us.

 
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Leaked document of the day

From the Valley Org documents release comes this item.

This is a fun find in the Valley Org documents. It was attached to more recent items, but it’s a great snapshot of 2004, when Scientology’s Criminon front group was more visible than it is today, and was supported by militant Scientologist celebrity Jenna Elfman, as well as actress Catherine Bell.

And the “Greg” who signs this commendation is Greg Capazorio, who happens to be brother-in-law to Top Gun himself, actor Tom Cruise.

 
——————–

“In the final run of it, he gets up to a fairly comprehensive idea of what he’s been and done….He gets himself one Godawful amount of time blocked out. Oh, some terrific amount of time blocked out. He gets up to trillions to the eighth power. Time, you know. Oh man, time, you see. First he gets horrified, you see, at the idea of twelve trillion years ago or something like that. He gets finally, up to a point where trillions to the eighth power take him back to some of the earliest implants. And he’s perfectly happy at this level that there’s an awful lot of track….Now, his track goes sizzling back to trillions to the 200th power. Well that’s, of course, one of these ridiculous figures. That’s trillion written two hundred times. Or one with two hundred times you write all the ciphers of a trillion. That gets to be quite a few ciphers and every one of those things is a year. You’re getting into the sweep of time by this time. Well, I myself have had, I just thought I was doing fine when I was doing some research this last summer. I said, ‘Gee, you know we’re getting clear back here.’ Trillions four, you know. Whew, you know? Dizzying. Concepts of time. Trying to date one of these confounded things, you know. Trying to handle these fantastic periods of time with arithmetic, and trying to dream up other methods of going into all this. Rough! Because it just took the auditor too tall, too long to say anything so you got crude rough approximations like, trillions 4.5, see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 3, 1963

 
——————–

“For some weeks late in 1982 I remained conscious, even when my body slept. I found that four hours of that kind of sleep was equal to eight of the usual, unconscious sleep, in terms of resting the body. Anyway, one night I was up late, standing nightwatch at Van Org, working on the word ‘postulate.’ When I figured I had it cleared I thought, ‘I want twenty bucks.’ I walked outside onto the street, walked about half a block, and there on the sidewalk were two ten-dollar bills, neatly folded. I picked up the twenty bucks, went back inside and signed off on the word ‘postulate.’ I’m past-life Clear and don’t know what-all I might have had run on me after going Clear way back then, but it was the early ’50s and research was raging ahead. I’m finally getting my Grades now and intend to complete the Bridge, eventually to regain that mastery over unconsciousness that I attained for a short while in the early ’80s. It’ll come in handy next time I want to leave a body for a new one.”

 
——————–

“The really scary thing to me about Carla Moxon is that there are literally millions of others like her in this world that are seriously mentally deluded due to magical thinking and they are among us doing jobs that could cause the rest of us harm if they just go off a tad too much at the wrong time. Anybody keeping track of all the problems going on with members of the ICBM defense system? And that’s not even due to magical thinking.”

 
——————–

Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[The Big Three: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?

 
——————–

THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Thar she blows: The ‘whales’ who are keeping Scientology afloat in 2018
[TWO years ago] Scientology loses another outlet for attracting young acting talent in Hollywood
[THREE years ago] In Scientology, dancing in a conga line might end up costing you thousands
[FOUR years ago] Augustine: How Scientology changes its story to fit what it’s trying to get away with
[FIVE years ago] About that Tom Cruise Scientology ‘co-leader’ nonsense spreading in the media
[SIX years ago] Our Experts Prepare Us for the Wall of Fire — Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Three!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Capsize: Commenters of the Week!
[TEN years ago] David Cross Endorses Scientology In a Way Only He Can

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,647 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,776 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,280 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,800 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 820 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 711 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,018 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,886 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,660 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,434 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,780 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,346 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,265 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,433 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,014 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,275 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,313 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,026 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,552 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,078 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,641 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,781 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,101 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,957 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,076 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,431 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,734 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,840 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,242 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,114 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,697 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,192 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,446 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,555 days.

——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on December 3, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 14 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele

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