Friday, February 17, 2012

Police Officer Allegedly Kills a Man Because of a 40 Cent Bribe

A trigger-happy police officer shot dead a passenger in a commuter bus in Lagos, Nigeria. The passenger, who was on his way to church, was killed because the conductor of the bus failed to give him a bribe of 40 cents (50 naira). The freaky officer opened fire on the bus as it zoomed off without submitting the disgraceful amount, which cannot buy you a bottle of Coca-Cola in Nigeria.  This has happened one too many times in Nigeria, in fact, the culture of impunity exhibited by the Nigeria Police has reached frightening heights that police officers blatantly brag about how they cannot be held responsible for killing innocent citizens. Various debates have gone on and on without any solution for curbing this culture of impunity. Shortly after the incident, a violent mob reportedly invaded the police station in the area but could not find any officer to vent their anger on; instead, scores of inmates were released from the cell.

Just recently also, a police corporal, Samuel Ojana in the eastern city of Nigeria, Ontisha, shot and killed a commuter bus driver for refusing to give him a bribe. As usual, news has it that the police officer has been dismissed and would face trail in a civil court. On the surface, this seems like the right step taken in the right direction, but then again may I disappoint you and let you know that previous extra-judicial killings by Nigeria police officers have gone in the same direction without proper justice meted out to them in the end. All we hear is, “it was an accidental discharge;” a statement that has since become a cliché.

It is rather unfortunate that the Nigeria Police is synonymous with inefficiency, impunity, accidental discharges…That is why I still wonder why some Nigerians decried the deployment of soldiers to quell the looming protest in Lagos during last month’s nationwide strike. It was rather glaring that the Nigeria Police would have at best killed citizens in the name of an accidental discharge.  I suppose if the Nigeria Police performed optimally or even averagely, the need for the soldiers would not have arisen in a democratic government. Many People have pointed to the idea of community or state policing as the best option to achieving effective policing. I would not say I am totally agreeing with that idea because merely introducing state or community policing with the present Nigerian structure would not solve the problem. The problems with the Nigeria Police are far more fundamental and rooted. A total over haul and appropriate training is essential. We have to tilt towards forensic policing to achieve optimal results; this can only be achieved with intensive training and re-orientation. Need I say that the police needs to be far more accountable than they presently are?

With a new Inspector General of Police in the helm of affairs, we can only hope policing gets better. The presidency has recently set up a police reform committee to over-haul the police force; we wait to see what would become of this committee. As they say, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I just sincerely hope that the light would not eventually fade out and leave us with an even worse police. In the meanwhile, let the impunity stop and let justice be served on the trigger-happy police officers, at least, that can be a pointer to the fact that the reforms has come to stay.

TBS Cancels Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns”

TBS has reportedly dumped Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns” in favor of “For Better or Worse”.   “For Better or Worse” has been picked up for 35 more episodes while “Meet the Browns” won’t be back for a new season.

Perry’s first sitcom, “House of Payne”, recently ended production but is still airing new episodes. All three Perry sitcoms were black, family oriented comedies.

According to a TBS press release, “For Better or Worse” finished the year as basic cable’s No. 1 sitcom of 2011 and the the No. 1 show on all of television with African-American adults.
Even though 35 episodes is a big pick up for a new show, it’s less than what “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” received. “House of Payne” was given 100 and “Meet the Browns” 90 after their initial test runs.

Kobe Bryant caught locking lips with estranged wife at LA Lakers game

Kobe Bryant was spotting kissing his estranged wife Vanessa on Valentine's Day, as she cheered him on at the LA Lakers game, sparking rumours of a reconciliation.

Vanessa had filed for divorce in December last year, citing 'irreconcilable differences' as the reason.
But on Tuesday, it became apparent that Vanessa Bryant and her basketball-playing husband Kobe could be getting back together, when she was seen supporting him at the game.

The glamorous 29-year-old star looked happy and relaxed sitting in the stands of the Staples Centre cheering the basketball superstar on to victory against the Atlanta Hawks, the Daily Mail reported.

They were later seen sharing a kiss in the tunnel on the way to the locker room.

According to TMZ, the couple, who got married in April 2001, are working on a reconciliation.

The news comes despite the recent news that the couple have sealed a property deal as a part of their divorce settlement with Vanessa set to take their three Newport beach homes.

Reportedly, even though Kobe and Vanessa have submitted all the essential documents, their divorce won't become final until mid-June.

Thus, they still have time to withdraw the papers.

However, despite last night's show of affection, the couple are not back living together yet, according to reports.

Whitney Houston Shines On Set Of ‘Sparkle’

Like mother and daughter: Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston star in the 2012 remake of Sparkle

The original 1976 movie starred Philip Michael Thomas, Irene Cara and Lonette McKee but Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks are bringing a modern hint of glamour to Sparkle.

The pair can be seen all glammed up in the first shot released from the film, a remake of the blockbuster about how a girl group experiences turmoil after one of their members turns to drugs and another achieves their desired fame alone.

Houston, 48, – who has struggled with addiction herself in the past - plays the role of parent Emma.

The legendary Whitney Houston looked a picture of beauty as she posed it up on the set of her new movie ‘Sparkle’, with actor Mike Epps.     

Starring Jordin Sparks, the remake of the 1976 movie (loosely based on the story of The Supremes) is also being executively-produced by the ‘Million Dollar Bill’ singer.

With filming commencing in Detroit this week, it appears the diva jumped straight in with the singing scenes. What did those on set say about her much-debated vocals?

Find out for yourself after the jump…

Republican? Democrat? What’s the difference?

By Rebekah Rast

The gap of opposing viewpoints between Republicans and Democrats in Congress is closing.
The fears of a Tea Party takeover in Congress from the 2010 elections are far gone, and in fact, should now be laughed at.

Republicans had their opportunity, as the leading party in the U.S. House of Representatives, to take a stand — the stand they promised they’d take to the American people — to fight against frivolous government spending, overregulation of the private sector and to put America back on a path to prosperity.

Where does the health of America stand two years after those promises were made?
The country now boasts a national debt of $15.3 trillion — now exceeding the national economy, which at the end of 2011 came in at $14.95 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The much-too-low unemployment rate touted by the Department of Labor of 8.3 percent is more accurately estimated to be closer to 11 percent. Also, in 2011, Congress increased spending from the year before, raised the debt limit by $2 trillion, and funded ObamaCare. And you can’t forget about Congress’ most recent move: extending the payroll tax cut along with unemployment benefits — with absolutely no way of paying for it.

For all of this to have happened the U.S. House, again with Republicans in the majority, had to agree to it — and that they did. What has happened that caused Republicans, who stand on a platform of fiscal conservatism and smaller government, to have seemingly forgone these values in exchange for the status quo? Why aren’t they standing up for the core conservative values on which they campaigned?
In an effort to not overlook what the Republican Party did accomplish these past two years: They have kept all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts intact to date, and well, it’s hard to think of much more.

Under this House Republican leadership, compromises have been few and more often than not the true conservative agenda has been put aside in order to appease Democrats in the Senate and White House.
How, two years after a huge nationwide movement like the Tea Party, has so much changed? Does getting a taste of the power and prestige of Capitol Hill strip a member of his core ideals? Does feeling the pressure of having to kowtow to leadership cause new members to buckle? Or maybe it’s the desire to keep ones job because, after all, two years really isn’t enough to accomplish all you want, right?! Or is it some kind of strategy, whereas after the elections if Republicans retain a majority in the House they can throw all these concessions in the face of Democrats and claim the nation hasn’t improved so now they get to do things their way?
Get full story here.

Greece In Ruins, Can It Ruin All Of Us?

Video by Frank McCaffrey
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Food Police go after preschooler, confiscate homemade lunch for being “unhealthy”

By Rebecca DiFede

Turkey and cheese sandwich on multigrain bread, banana, potato chips and apple juice; sounds like a healthy lunch right? All food groups are represented, it seems balanced, and is quite typical of something a small kid would want to eat.

However, when state agents inspected the lunch of a four year old student at West Hoke Elementary in Raeford, North Carolina, they deemed that it was not compliant with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations and required that she eat a school lunch. Which, by the way, consisted of fried, processed chicken nuggets.

These state agents from the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services were acting in compliance with regulations they claim have control over all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs to conform to the USDA standards. This means they must contain one serving of meat, one serving of dairy, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables.

The lunch that the little girl’s grandmother packed her was completely consistent with that framework, and yet she was told it was insufficient and that she needed to get a new lunch, and charged a fee of $1.25 for her trouble. How insensitive, not to mention insane and outlandish to do that to a small child who has no idea about any of the concepts of nutrition, but only knows that what her grandmother made her was somehow bad for her.

The sheer notion that minions of the state are allowed to enter cafeterias and inspect homemade lunches is terrifying. What happened to the rights of the parent to decide what is best for their child? What about the money saving aspect of making lunches at home, only to run the risk of the uneaten lunch being sent home with a bill from the cafeteria?
Get full story here.