Monday November 24th, 2014
Monday November 24th, 2014
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College Sports

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:36 am   /   Comments

MY normal Saturday morning rituals consist of tracking local and international news and watching the English Barclays Premier League football, or soccer as the game is known in the United States. Last Saturday, I ignored both rituals. The league had taken a break due to international soccer tournaments in Europe. As for news, I guessed the world would still be there later in the day when I would catch up with what I might have missed earlier. What I did was to watch all sorts sporting activities when I was not grading students’ papers.

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U.S.: Politics, Judges and Justice

  /   in Dispatches from America 8:22 pm   /   Comments

tortureAmerica

WITH its huge population of over one billion citizens, India is the world’s largest democracy. But, the U.S. believes it is the beacon of democracy in our world. Last week, U.S. citizens went to polls for the mid-term election.

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Mid-term polls in America

  /   in Dispatches from America 1:12 am   /   Comments

America-poll

TODAY, Americans go to the polls in their mid-term elections. These elections come two years into the presidency of every American leader, hence the “mid-term” nature of these cyclical polling.

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Shootings in U.S. schools

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:14 am   /   Comments

Shootings

LAST week, 14-year-old Jaylen Fryberg calmly walked to his school, Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington State, and took out his anger on his fellow students. He was armed with a .40 caliber handgun.

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Obama’s Credit Card embarrassment

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:45 am   /   Comments

Meal out: Obama said his plastic problems occurred at a restaurant during the U.N. General Assembly last month, which is the same time he visited Estela.

IT seems implausible that the president of the United States of America could have his credit card rejected or declined when he tried to make a payment. But, it happened to President Barack Obama. Before you conclude that it might have been the handwork of some of his Republican Party opponents who were out to embarrass, if not humiliate him, please read the story.

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Does America underrate her women?

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:18 am   /   Comments

America women

WOMEN in America have recorded phenomenal achievements and left indelible marks in U.S. history. Take a look at the U.S. Supreme Court. There, three women sit on the bench with six men. This is a statement that women have paid their dues so to speak alongside men in this country that consistently boasts of equal opportunity based on ability, and uses every chance it gets to preach the same message to the rest of the world.

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Two Tales of Ebola: Nigeria vs USA

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:20 am   /   Comments

A seller of bananas walks past a slogan painted on a wall reading "Ebola" in Monrovia on August 31, 2014. Liberia on August 30, 2014 said it would deny permission for any crew to disembark from ships at the country's four seaports until the Ebola epidemic ravaging west Africa was under control. AFP PHOTO

TWO men are reportedly responsible for transporting Ebola to Nigeria and the US. Both men are of Liberian origin. That is where the similarities in the tale end. With its underdeveloped healthcare facilities, Nigeria robustly tackled the problem and now appears to have the situation under manageable control. Unlike Nigeria, the US with its sophisticated medical facilities and high level of preparedness to tackle any health epidemic, approached the issue with underserved levity.

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War Against Domestic Violence

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:58 am   /   Comments

Displaced-Syrian-refugees11

With the U.S.-led war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, the war against Ebola, the racial tensions exemplified by the recent killing of Michael Brown by an apparently trigger-happy policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, and all other issues that crowd the official schedule of the White House, the issue of domestic violence in the U.S. has not been getting deserved headlines. But, the issue has refused to drop off the radar of important public issues in the country.

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Will 2014 UN General Assembly be different?

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:47 am   /   Comments

UN

THIS time each year, heads of state and government from around the world congregate in New York for their annual ritual otherwise known as the United Nations General Assembly. This body is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations. Expectations are normally high that each of the General Assembly meetings will produce workable resolutions on how to move the world forward and make it a better place for mankind.

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Two Governors & U.S. Justice

  /   in Broken Links, Dispatches from America 2:06 am   /   Comments

*Obama

NEWS about the activities of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, and the International coalition that was formed to deal with the menace of the jihadist group, almost drowned all other notable items on the stable of the U.S. media. Two of those prominent events in the news that occurred as ISIS took

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U.S. and the ISIS challenge

  /   in Dispatches from America 1:51 am   /   Comments

Abu Bakr al-Baghdad

THIS is how U.S. vice president Joe Biden last week articulated his country’s resolve to deal with the increasingly vicious fundamentalist, jihadist group of militants known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS: “We came back after 9/11. We dusted ourselves off and we made sure that Osama bin Laden would never, ever again threaten the American people.

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Obama: Managing off-shore crises beyond his control

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:06 am   /   Comments

Putin and Obama

WATCHING President Barack Obama as he addressed a number of press conferences last week, I recalled a book we read very long ago titled One Week, One Trouble by Anezi Okoro. It was about an urchin who got into trouble every week. But, the only similarity between Obama and the kid is their overwhelmed demeanor as both characters in their various ways and in different climes and era encountered a kettle of troubles.

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The fall of the ‘unfallable’ of U.S. politics

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:51 am   /   Comments

*Obama

NIGERIAN politician and wordsmith of blessed memory, K.O. Mbadiwe, used to coin phrases and make sentences that dressed up the English language in regal and enigmatic robes. He once described himself as “a man of timber and calibre” and always cajoled his opponents that he was capable of “cementing the cementables” as well as being a man of action “when the come comes to become.”

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Drumbeat for another U.S. war in Iraq

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:26 am   /   Comments

President Barack Obama of the United States

YOU would think that former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney might be the last person to ever make a public statement about going to war again in Iraq, given the fact that he was the prime architect of the U.S. debacle in that country over what turned out to be some phantom weapons of mass destruction being built by late dictator, Saddam Hussein.

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Power Struggle & US Senate Primary Elections

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:41 am   /   Comments

Mrs. Hilary clinton

THE frenzy and fury which heralded the mid-May U.S. Senate primary elections clearly underscore the importance of that institution in the governance of the country.

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Super Eagles, U.S.A. and Brazil 2014

  /   in Dispatches from America 1:49 pm   /   Comments

UNITED STATES, JACKSONVILLE : JACKSONVILLE, FL - Forward Jozy Altidore #17 of the United States shoots and scores his second game of the game behind defender Joseph Yobo #2 of Nigeria during the international friendly match at EverBank Field on June 7, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida. AFP

I WATCHED the Super Eagles take a 2-1 beating in the hands of Jurgen Klinsman’s U.S.A. team,in the company of some Kenyans and a young Nigerian friend on a visit from Columbus, Ohio. Watching the Super Eagles with Kenyans is almost as good as watching the match in Lagos or Abuja. Kenyans always amaze me with their knowledge of Nigerian star footballers, from the golden days of Rashid Yekini down to the modern era.

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How the West beats the rest of us

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:46 am   /   Comments

Britain's Queen Elizabeth (L) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, standing onboard the Spirit of Chartwell during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames in London. Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's 90-year-old husband, was hospitalised June 4, 2012 with a bladder infection and will miss the rest of her diamond jubilee celebrations, Buckingham Palace said.   AFP PHOTO

THE late Guyanese scholar and political activist, Walter Rodney, years ago wrote a masterpiece titled “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.” Today, he might have done some re-thinking and come up with another title that could read “How African leaders further underdeveloped Africa.”

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Boko Haram in US politics

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:07 am   /   Comments

Boko-Haram1

ABUBAKAR Shekau must be relishing the fact that his rabid behaviour and manifested insanity are earning him the international notoriety he has been yearning for over the years.

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US veterans: Heroes abroad, destitute at home

  /   in Dispatches from America 6:08 pm   /   Comments

US-veterans

IF you go by how successive U.S presidents praise and celebrate the soldiers they send abroad to fight for the honour and defense of their fatherland, you would think that upon their return back home the soldiers who survived the carnage abroad would get the best of what the system has to offer at home. Well, not quite.

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Echoes of Racism

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:11 am   /   Comments

Cliven Bundy

IF you have never heard of a man called Cliven Bundy, you don’t have to worry for he is one of those none entities you are better off not knowing. He was not even known anywhere outside his small village in the state of Nevada, that is, until recently when he singlehandedly challenged the might of the U.S. federal government – and won, even if it is a pyrrhic victory!

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United States of Guns

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:15 am   /   Comments

Assault rifles seized from criminals by the police in two weeks. Photo by A S Muhammad, Kano

THE US human population is about 315 million. And the US gun population is about 313 million. Statistically speaking, therefore, every U.S citizen, old or young, sane or with mental problems, could potentially own a gun or have access to it.

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Admitting a mistake and fixing the problem

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:37 am   /   Comments

*Obama

UNTIL recently, Kathleen Sebelius was the U.S. Health Secretary. As April unfolded, she sent in her letter of resignation to her boss, President Barack Obama. That move caught practically everyone by surprise because there was hardly any indication that she was about to quit. But she did, and it was not a forced move as the highly authoritative New York Times newspaper reported that she quit entirely of her own volition.

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Blaming Obama over Putin’s Crimea

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:02 am   /   Comments

ukraine11

ARIZONA’S Republican Senator, John McCain, is a rarity in politics. He speaks his mind, no matter who is being comforted or afflicted. With him, you do not have to fear being taken through a labyrinth of circumlocution and rhetoric on issues. So, when he castigated President Obama and called him the “most naïve president” in U.S. history on foreign policy, and more directly for not standing up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin on his annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, Senator McCain meant what he said and said it as he saw and understood it.

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Litigating Gas Flaring in the U.S

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:12 am   /   Comments

gas-flaring

THE history of crude oil production in Nigeria informs us that the Shell Oil Company was the first to discover oil in commercial quantity in Nigeria.

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Litigating Gas Flaring in the U.S

  /   in Dispatches from America   /   Comments

*Gas flare

THE history of crude oil production in Nigeria informs us that the Shell Oil Company was the first to discover oil in commercial quantity in Nigeria. The location was Oloibriri (now in Bayelsa State), and the year was 1956. Two years later, Nigeria’s first consignment of crude oil was exported from the Oloibiri oil fields. But what is not well advertised is the fact that gas flaring has been taking place in Nigeria since 1958. The ecological disaster and associated consequences of gas flaring in Nigeria have been well-documented, and do not constitute the main objective in this dispatch from America.

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Surprise celebration of Nigeria in U.S. press

  /   in Dispatches from America 7:45 pm   /   Comments

Nigerian soldiers lowering the Nigerian flag at Bakassi following the ceding of the territory to Cameroun

IT is not often that Nigeria or indeed any developing nation gets applauded in the Western media. The issue has to be undeniably and incredibly worthy of celebration for it to be given space or airtime in the press. Such is the case of Kenya’s Lupita Amondi Nyong’o whose sterling performance in 12 Years a Slave earned her an Oscar.

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At last, Obama tackles ‘minority’ issues

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:20 am   /   Comments

*Obama

AT the outset of his presidency, President Barack Obama must have calculated that it was not in his strategic interest to single out minorities in the U.S. for special attention. His mantra was that he was elected the president of the United States, not of a faction or fraction of its population. It was a way of being politically correct. He needed to serve two terms of office and sending any signal that he would pay more attention to the two most important constituencies that elected him to office – African Americans and Hispanics – may have been politically naïve.

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‘Pussy Riots’& Sr. Rice

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:19 am   /   Comments

Putin

THIS is a tale of two protests; one in Russia and the other in the United States. How both stories were treated in the U.S. press tells yet another story. First, to Russia.

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Waiting for Hillary Clinton

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:10 am   /   Comments

Mrs. Hilary clinton

THE biggest political buzz in the U.S. was, is, has been and will continue to be about Hillary Rodham Clinton, former First Lady, Senator, and U.S. Secretary of State. Will she or will she not contest the presidency? Even without an answer to this question, it appears as if the gods have decided that come November, 2016, the U.S. presidency will be hers. But Hillary is yet to publicly declare her interest in running for the White House.

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American wonder

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:09 am   /   Comments

social-media-icons

THE day was January 21, 2014. I entered my ‘International Media Systems’ class and introduced myself to about twenty American university students who were eager to learn how the media work around the globe. “I’m originally from Nigeria; who knows where Nigeria is located?” I asked. Silence. I repeated the question.

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Accountability in Governance

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:29 am   /   Comments

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (L), US President Barack Obama (C) and First Lady Michelle Obama attending the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg AFP PHOTO / SABC

THE downside to being in public office in the U.S. is becoming an object of intense, and often irritating, highly intrusive and critical, media and public scrutiny. Your action and inaction invariably become subjects of serious debates, even from uninformed quarters and from people with less than noble intentions. What choice do you have? None.

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Dennis Rodman and basketball diplomacy

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:23 am   /   Comments

Dennis-rod

‘PING-PONG’ diplomacy paved the way to a political rapprochement between the USA and China in the 1970s. Those were the days of China’s Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, US President Richard Nixon and his diplomatic soldier and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Now, Dennis Rodman is trying to use ‘basketball diplomacy’as an instrument to defrost the ice-cold US-North Korean relations.

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