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Business / How To Spot Compromised Atm by johneewalker: This month on Thu 05 at 12:36pm
You probably know that you should take care when using an Automated Teller Machine, but how can you know for sure that the device has been compromised – and what should you do upon realizing this?

The ATM's in the wall of banks, hotels, supermarkets, shopping malls, bus stops and other locations contain a lot of money.

Attempting to remove the money by force will result in the notes being dyed, becoming easy to trace alongside the perpetrators, according to www.makeuseof.com

This has more or less ended the practice of physical brute force attacks on the ATMs, as well as attempts to steal the whole devices (a practice common in the past using four-wheel drive trucks with winches or heavy-duty tow bars).

Instead, thieves have opened a new line of attack: through you. There are three distinct types of the ATM crime. The first is when someone waits for you to withdraw cash and then steals it from you. The second occurs when a victim is forced under duress to make a withdrawal and hand it over to the criminal. Third is the mode by which your PIN is observed and your card stolen.

The vast majority of the ATM crime is based on a digital variant of this third method. This way there is no physical crime and those plotting the fraud can remain comparatively anonymous, largely avoiding recognition in person or by camera. They visit the scene of the crime just a couple of times to install and later remove the hardware modifications they have made to the ATM. These modifications can leave you penniless.

Using ATM safely


Increasingly concerned about their customers’ use of ATMs, over the past few years banks have begun to take the issue of the ATM crime seriously. Before we look at how you can spot a cash point or hole-in-the-wall that has been modified by criminals, let us take a look at how you can use these devices safely.

According to www.makeuseof.com, the first thing to do is avoid using an ATM, wherever possible. If the option to queue at the bank and take money out of your account over the counter is available, you should take it. Opting for cash-back in your supermarket is another alternative.

If you must use an ATM, ensure that there are no obvious modifications. Next, look around you to check that no one is too close – ask him or her to step back if too close. When inputting your PIN, ensure your spare hand is covering the number you enter – you don’t want anyone else to know it, do you?

Make sure you quickly remove your card and put it away safely and securely; repeat for your withdrawal, then take one more look around you before you move away from the machine to a safe area, before continuing upon your business.

Finally, assume that any ATM or automated card payment machine can be compromised. Several card payment devices in petrol pumps have been compromised over the past few months and the possibility that scammers could modify other similar devices (such as self-service payment aisles in supermarkets) should not be overlooked.

What does a compromised ATM look like?


Identifying an ATM that has been modified is not easy. Scammers use fake card readers, fake keyboards and even cameras, styled to look like the originals that they cleverly fit over the top of.

Close inspection of a compromised ATM should reveal one of the following, however:

1. Fake keyboard – this sits over the original, and features keylogging software that records every PIN. As the PIN is entered, each key press will push down on the original keys below, leaving the user none the wiser.

2. Fake card reader – these have developed considerably over the past few months. Miniaturisation has resulted in skimmer devices that sit inside the original card reader, whereas previously they might have sat on top. Recently new and some older ATMs have been fitted with “anti-skimmer” devices that purport to prevent skimmers from being fitted.

3.Cameras – not to be confused with the ATM’s built-in camera, which is intended to record your face rather than your PIN. These are used as an alternative to the fake keyboard, but will be positioned so that the PIN can be recorded. Any part of the ATM that seems slightly too big is a potential home for a hidden camera, whose presence will often be betrayed by a small hole.

Meanwhile, a machine that has been hacked, but in a state of unreadiness, might be displaying the operating system boot screen or desktop (or even the warning message displayed below), often Windows XP or its embedded alternative.

Naturally you should avoid any machine that does not display the standard graphics for inserting your card, although bear in mind that ATMs running Windows XP continue to be a threat until they are upgraded to a later version.

What to do if you find a dodgy ATM


If you find an ATM that you believe has been compromised, there are two things you should do. The first is to inform the owner straight away. This might mean popping into the bank or business that owns or rents the device and reporting the incident, or making a phone call to their ATM security team.

You should also take to your social networking account to report the ATM to your friends in the area. Better still if there is a local news group in operation, share it here too. The more people that know about the scam, the less chance anyone has of being taken in by it. You might also consider leaving a note on the device informing other potential users of your discovery.

-punch

Webmasters / Re: How Do I Enable Youtube Video Embedding by ibson99: This month on Thu 05 at 12:31pm



Webmasters / Re: How Do I Enable Youtube Video Embedding by ibson99: This month on Thu 05 at 12:31pm



Webmasters / Re: How Do I Enable Youtube Video Embedding by ibson99: This month on Thu 05 at 12:31pm



Crime / Breaking: Gunmen Kill Uniben Professor by johneewalker: This month on Thu 05 at 11:25am
Amidst increasing concerns over the level insecurity in the Edo State, a senior staff of the University of Benin, Edo State, Prof. Paul Otasowie, has been killed by gunmen.

It was learnt Otasowie was shot dead by the armed men in front of his residence on Ekehuan road in Oredo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday evening.

There was, however, speculation that the professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering was either assassinated or gunned down by suspected armed robbers.

According to another version of the incident, the deceased, who was a former director of the university’s Industrial Training and Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme, was allegedly shot during an attempted kidnap.

It was gathered that the news of his death left the university community in a state of mourning.

The Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr. Michael Osasuyi, confirmed the incident to The PUNCH on Thursday.

Osasuyi stated, “We lost him (Otasowie) yesterday. We are trying to gather the right information now (because) we are getting different versions.

“The first version said that it was an assassination (while) the second version said that it was armed robbery, that he was inside a car and they shot him.”

He described the death of the professor as a huge loss to the university community, adding the deceased was a hardworking and dedicated staff.

Osasuyi said, “For now, the university cannot ascertain what has transpired. But we are sending delegates now to the house to meet with the family.

“We commiserate with the family and it is a big blow to the university. He was one of the persons who have ensured that work is done and done well.”

He, however, noted that the institution was concerned about the level of insecurity in the state.

“The vice-chancellor, Prof. Orunmwense is saddened with this development. We just wish that this insecurity in Edo State is looked into. Just recently, (Joseph) Osayomore was kidnapped.

“The level of insecurity now is becoming something else. The vice-chancellor commiserates with the family and the school is mourning,” the spokesman added.

Crime / Policeman, Others Arrested Siphoning Fuel From Nnpc Pipeline Into Tanker Inside Lagos Hotel by johneewalker: This month on Thu 05 at 09:08am

Operatives of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Surveillance Team on Wednesday arrested a policeman and a tanker driver who are part of a pipeline vandals syndicate using a Lagos hotel as base.
The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that the surveillance team traced the smell of petrol to a burst pipeline, which was channeled to a waiting tanker at Glonik Hotels on Social Club Road in Abule Egba area of Lagos.
The team leader, Aminu King, told NAN: “We had a gun battle with the men securing the vandals, but they were later overpowered by my men.
“A tanker driver and one policemen were arrested.
“Another policeman who was with the vandals escaped with the hotel manager, but the receptionist, the waitress and other occupants of the hotel were rounded up.
“We later discovered that the whole compound of the hotel was filled with tanks and 50 litre jerry cans filled with petrol.
“This act has been going on for a long time because their tanks had changed colour as they had been storing petrol in it.”
A woman believed to have been abducted and was found tied up in a room inside the hotel was also rescued by the operatives.
NAN also gathered that policemen attached to Ijaye Division also responded to a distress call from the scene, which almost led to a rivalry between the security operatives.
The hotel receptionist, Rachel Egbede, told NAN that she started working at the hotel three weeks ago after the previous workers were sacked.
Egbede said: “I also observed that some men gather here by 10pm every night, claiming they came for a meeting, and whenever I challenge them, my manager usually tells me to let them be.
“Most times I see policemen with them so I never suspected anything until today that I started hearing gunshots in the middle of the night before we were all rounded up.”
The arrested tanker driver, Waliu Tella, also told NAN that he brought his tanker to the location after he was promised N500,000 per trip.
NAN reports that five tankers and two tanker heads were packed at the scene as the NNPC survellance team, Policemen, OP MESA team, OP AWATSE and the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps cordoned off the area.
When contacted, the spokesman of the Lagos State Police Command, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said he was yet to be briefed of the incident.

Romance / 15 Topics To Build Your Relationship by johneewalker: This month on Thu 05 at 08:57am
Communication brings lovers together and makes it easy for them to build chemistry and love. The conversations you have with your significant other play a strong role in determining how happy, fun and strong your relationship will be.

No matter how difficult some topics may seem sometimes, discussing them will help ease a lot of tension and leave room for your relationship to grow. You’ll also find that you both understand each other better.

It doesn’t matter whether you are in a new relationship or you’ve been married for years. These topics will not only help you get closer to your lover; it will also give you ideas on what to talk about when it feels like you are running out of topics. And you can always refine and repeat them as you and your partner will always have different answers each time they come up. This way, you’ll never run out of interesting conversations.

1. Plans for the weekend (or a vacation)
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a frustrating Monday evening or Thursday night. Talking about your plans for the weekend and you’ll both have something exciting to look forward to. It will also motivate you to work and get through the week with much enthusiasm. Planning way ahead of time for a vacation or that little getaway also gives you both things to discuss and deliberate on. So plan on!

2. Work

A simple “how did your day go” and an honest answer can lead to a conversation you will both cherish. And there is always something to talk about work. From a weird colleague to a bad boss to the tasks you have to complete, these conversations will help you both understand each other’s professional sides better.

3. Sex

Sexual intimacy is as important as romantic gestures. Talk about what turns you on, the positions or toys you’d like to try, your sexually sensitive spots, your secret fantasies and every other thing related to sex. This will both be exciting and revealing at the same time, and you’ll find yourselves discovering new things about each other. However, this also includes problems in bed. Speak up about them or they will eventually turn around and bite you in the back. If your partner is not performing as expected or your sex drive has reduced drastically, talk about it. Think of or suggest new ways of handling it together and you will be one step towards overcoming these issues.

4. Pay compliments

Tell your partner the things you like about them. Make a habit of appreciating their personality or little things they did the day before, even the ones they didn’t realise that they were doing. Appreciating people encourages them to do more.
5. Worries

What is bothering or worrying you? Simple question, right? But this is something that will make your partner feel loved and cared for. They may have no worries, but the thought that you care will make them cherish being in a relationship with you. Also talk about health issues, whether they are easy to mention.
6. Secrets

Talking about secrets is fun, telling but fun. You can turn it into a game where you each reveal a new dirty, little secret. It will help you get to know each other intimately.
7. Shows and Movies

Well, this always gives you something to talk about. New shows and movies come out every week. Watch one together and talk about it. Laugh at them for crying when Mufasa died while you watched Lion King again.
8. The future and the past

The past may not always be fun and exciting to talk about, but there will surely be hilarious moments to mention, like the times you did silly things as a child or your childhood dreams. You do not need to talk about painful memories like past relationships or go into sexual details. Talk about your plans for the future: the goals you have, your dreams, aspirations and life pursuits. Tell them what you intend to do. This will help the both of you understand each other’s views. Talk about where you see yourselves as a couple in five years. Make goals that will urge you both to work towards strengthening your relationship.
9. Places

Talk about your favourite restaurants, that bukka you just discovered in the next street, a dream location you stumbled across on the internet, places you’d like to visit over the weekend or on special days, or a cool spot you could both sit silently or make out in. It will give you both the chance to explore these places together.

Romance / 15 Topics To Build Your Relationship by johneewalker: This month on Thu 05 at 08:57am
Communication brings lovers together and makes it easy for them to build chemistry and love. The conversations you have with your significant other play a strong role in determining how happy, fun and strong your relationship will be.

No matter how difficult some topics may seem sometimes, discussing them will help ease a lot of tension and leave room for your relationship to grow. You’ll also find that you both understand each other better.

It doesn’t matter whether you are in a new relationship or you’ve been married for years. These topics will not only help you get closer to your lover; it will also give you ideas on what to talk about when it feels like you are running out of topics. And you can always refine and repeat them as you and your partner will always have different answers each time they come up. This way, you’ll never run out of interesting conversations.

1. Plans for the weekend (or a vacation)
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a frustrating Monday evening or Thursday night. Talking about your plans for the weekend and you’ll both have something exciting to look forward to. It will also motivate you to work and get through the week with much enthusiasm. Planning way ahead of time for a vacation or that little getaway also gives you both things to discuss and deliberate on. So plan on!

2. Work

A simple “how did your day go” and an honest answer can lead to a conversation you will both cherish. And there is always something to talk about work. From a weird colleague to a bad boss to the tasks you have to complete, these conversations will help you both understand each other’s professional sides better.

3. Sex

Sexual intimacy is as important as romantic gestures. Talk about what turns you on, the positions or toys you’d like to try, your sexually sensitive spots, your secret fantasies and every other thing related to sex. This will both be exciting and revealing at the same time, and you’ll find yourselves discovering new things about each other. However, this also includes problems in bed. Speak up about them or they will eventually turn around and bite you in the back. If your partner is not performing as expected or your sex drive has reduced drastically, talk about it. Think of or suggest new ways of handling it together and you will be one step towards overcoming these issues.

4. Pay compliments

Tell your partner the things you like about them. Make a habit of appreciating their personality or little things they did the day before, even the ones they didn’t realise that they were doing. Appreciating people encourages them to do more.

5. Worries

What is bothering or worrying you? Simple question, right? But this is something that will make your partner feel loved and cared for. They may have no worries, but the thought that you care will make them cherish being in a relationship with you. Also talk about health issues, whether they are easy to mention.

6. Secrets

Talking about secrets is fun, telling but fun. You can turn it into a game where you each reveal a new dirty, little secret. It will help you get to know each other intimately.

7. Shows and Movies

Well, this always gives you something to talk about. New shows and movies come out every week. Watch one together and talk about it. Laugh at them for crying when Mufasa died while you watched Lion King again.

8. The future and the past

The past may not always be fun and exciting to talk about, but there will surely be hilarious moments to mention, like the times you did silly things as a child or your childhood dreams. You do not need to talk about painful memories like past relationships or go into sexual details. Talk about your plans for the future: the goals you have, your dreams, aspirations and life pursuits. Tell them what you intend to do. This will help the both of you understand each other’s views. Talk about where you see yourselves as a couple in five years. Make goals that will urge you both to work towards strengthening your relationship.

9. Places

Talk about your favourite restaurants, that bukka you just discovered in the next street, a dream location you stumbled across on the internet, places you’d like to visit over the weekend or on special days, or a cool spot you could both sit silently or make out in. It will give you both the chance to explore these places together.


10. Personal interests

What do you truly enjoy doing? Share these thoughts with your partner and see which interests conflict and which ones complement one another. When these interests complement each other, try doing them together as it will bring you closer.

11. Family and friends

Knowing (about) your partner’s friends takes you a step closer to learning more about them. Also, talking about each other’s families provides you with hours and hours of interesting gist. You may have to consciously stop yourselves. This also makes first introductions to family and friends easier and more fun.

12. Opinions and preferences

Never hold your thoughts back from someone you love. Speak up and state your personal opinions. Talk about each other’s likes and dislikes. Preferences and opinions change with time and new information. The more you know about each other’s preferences, the better you know about them.

13. Improvement

Talk about your flaws and the ways you’d like to improve. Releasing your vulnerabilities freely will help your partner relax more around you and they will break down their own walls and talk about theirs too. Offer and receive advice and suggestions on ways you can both improve yourselves.

14. Offer to help

Offer to help your partner with something, regardless of whether it is an easy chore or a hard one. Working together on a task brings you closer together. Plus they will be glad you helped. Talk about ways you can help them around the house with chores and housework.

15. Proud moments

Ask your partner to tell you about the moments in life when they’ve felt really proud of their own achievements. Memorable moments and childhood memories always provide for hours of fun, hilarious conversations.

Literature / The Foolish Love Episode Two by thankgod(m): This month on Thu 05 at 08:47am
THE FOOLISH LOVE
EPISODE TWO A pretty young Lady who was gorgeous
and dressed so awesome that made
Nnamdi forgot where he was.Nnamdi
was so lost in her beauty that he didn't
hear her greet...''Good morning
sir!!!''...The lady greeted...''Yeah Good morning,sorry I was thinking about a
project a wanted to deliver
tomorrow.''Here
are the documents you requested for
sir''...The Lady said...''Oh yes,give them to
me'' Nnamdi said still admiring her.''I may take my leave now sir'' the Lady
said...''Oh wait.Please may I know your
name?'' Nnamdi said to her...''My is
Sarah,sir'' The lady said to
him....''Hmmmmm that the such a pretty
name for a pretty gilr such as you'' Nnamdi said to
her...''Oh thank you sir'' she said while
smiling...'';Do you know you so so
beautiful to the eyes of a man?'' Nnamdi
said...''Sir please I have to get back to
work,I have a lot of work to do'' She said...''Why the hurry?,what about dinner
tonight?'' He asked....''Alright sir'' she
smiling at him...Few hours later,when it
was time for evryone to go home,Nnamdi
rushed outside to his car and waited for
Sarah at his car.He waited for some minutes,until he saw the beautiful legs
and glamouring steps of sarah as she
walked down the stairs to where he
was.Nnamdi was so lost again again and
again
at her beauty.''OH my Lady!!! you are so gorgeous'' Nnamdi said to her...''Oh stop
you are making me blush'' she said to
him... ''Please do come in'' He said as he
majestically opened the door for
her...Few minutes later after a long
discussion the the car,they finally arrive at a resturant.What do you want? he
asked her...
''Just get me a plate of rice and
chicken''....she said to the waiter standing
in front of them taking their orders...''I
would like to order for the same''He said... ''Tell me about yourself Sarah'' He
said...Well my name is sarah,I'm...

Literature / The Foolish Love Episode One by thankgod(m): This month on Thu 05 at 08:46am
THE FOOLISH LOVE EPISODE ONE Nnamdi was a loyal and humble man,who
everyone around him emulated him. He
was a hardworking man,who was also
born with a silver spoon.
He was born into a family of Four(4),two
(2) boys and two(2) girls.Nnamdi was the second born,his elder sister Blessing was
the first born. He was so loved by his
siblings and parent,he was so
intelligent,quite and smart. He was the
carbon-copy of his grandfather.
Nnamdi was a graduate from Oxfrd University,He studied Petrol Chemical
Engineering.He was loved among his
course mates in his school.He was the
best among his peers.Many years passed
and Nnamdi got a job in a petroleum
company in London.HE worked in the company for 2years and decided to go
back to his country and look for a wife
there.Few months later he returned back
to Nigeria and while he was returning,a
job
has been sent to him to come and work in Shevron as an assisting Manager. He got
back home successfully and he was so
happy to see his family.
Two weeks later,Nnamdi was ready to go
to work at Shevron, he entered into his
Car and was driving to work.When he finally arrive at work, he was welcomed
unexpectedly by everyone.he was so
happy and pleased to see everyone
smile. Nnamdi was so handsome, slight
talks going on among the females in the
company. he was shown into his office,and was told all that he need to do
what and who to call on.One morning
while Nnamdi
was in the office,he heard a knock on the
door...''The door is open'' Nnamdi said,as
the door was opening,Nnamdi was amazed at what he saw.Guess
what he saw?

Romance / 5 Things To Do When Your Partner Asks For “space” by johneewalker: This month on Thu 05 at 08:38am
At some point in some relationships, your partner may ask for that dreary “space” or a break. Most of the time, this is a red flag signalling the end of the relationship.

So what do you do when your partner asks to take a break from the relationship? We have five suggestions for you:


1. Make the rules for your separation

Yes, your partner asked for space. Quite shocking, isn’t it? But remember it’s the two of you in your relationship and you also have a say in it. Discuss topics like sex, fidelity, the amount of contact allowed between the two of you, financial issues, child care, appropriate and inappropriate relations with others and so on depending on which ones apply to you. Also know the length of time the separation will last, after which you two will discuss the next steps in your relationship. Clearly agree on the rules for separation and if there is room for adjustments.


2. Feel

Allow yourself feel whatever emotions come up. Forcing down, ignoring or surpressing your emotions only makes them build up. when they eventually come out, they will be much more intense. So let the feelings flow freely. Allow yourself cry or get upset when you need to, as long as you don’t hurt yourself or any other person. You’ll feel better in the end. As much as it is advisable to let yoursef feel emotions, try not to stay in them for long.

3. Take care of yourself

As shocking as it is hearing your partner ask for space, you need to consciously try to go through your normal routine. Take proper care of yourself. Eat well, drink a lot of water, exercise, listen to relaxing music, take long showers and do mani-pedis or whatever makes you feel good. If you do think of your relationship, try your best to stay in the present and be true to yourself about what’s happening in your relationship.

4. Have a support system

Friends, family, groups, music, books or other activities that will support and uplift you are very important at this time. Spend more time with these people, doing the things that make you feel good. Let them support you through these times.

5. Work on yourself

Use this separation period as a time to work on yourself and become a better partner. This does not mean that there is something wrong with you or you are to blame for your partner’s desire for space. No. This is just a piece of advice to evaluate, recognise and take responsibility for the role you may have played in some of the challenges in your relationship. How should you act in certain situations? What can you do better? Develop new habits and work on the bad old ones you may have, like jealousy, holding grudges, lacking intimacy after an argument, trust or anger issues.

Note:


Regardless of what happens after this separation period, whether you get back together or not, these tips will help you become a better partner and a better person in general. Evaluate your relationship and know what is healthy for your relationship and what isn’t. Feel free also to decide if it is a good idea to stay in the relationship.

This space has given you the freedom to make requests, agreements and decisions that can be better for you. Use it wisely.


-theguardian

Crime / Jihadists Kill 3 American, 5 Nigerien Soldiers Near Mali by johneewalker: This month on Thu 05 at 08:22am

Five Nigerien soldiers and three U.S. Army Special Forces troops were killed and two wounded in an ambush on a joint patrol in southwest Niger, near Mali.

The attack occurred on Wednesday, according to Nigerien and U.S. officials.

The five Green Berets were attacked while on a routine patrol in an area known to have a presence of insurgents, including from al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Islamic State, a U.S. official told Reuters.

It was unclear who fired on the U.S. and U.S.-backed forces, the official said. Those forces were not patrolling the area with any specific objective, such as a high-value target or rescuing a hostage, the official added.

A spokesman for U.S. Africa Command confirmed the attack after Radio France International (RFI) reported a lethal ambush near the Niger/Mali border.

“We can confirm reports that a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger,” said the spokesman.

Namatta Abubacar, an official for the region of Tillaberi in Niger, said five Nigerien soldiers were among the dead.

A Niger diplomatic source said the attackers had come from Mali and had killed several soldiers, without saying whether any of the U.S. troops stationed in the West African country were among the victims.

U.S. President Donald Trump was briefed by telephone on the attack by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly while Trump flew back on Air Force One from Las Vegas, where he had been visiting victims and first responders affected by Sunday’s mass shooting.

RFI said earlier on Wednesday a counter-attack was underway.

African security forces backed by Western troops are stepping up efforts to counter jihadist groups forming part of a growing regional insurgency in the poor, sparsely populated deserts of the Sahel.

A relatively new militant group called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has claimed some of the attacks.

Geoff D. Porter, head of North Africa Risk Consulting, said that any confirmation of Islamic State’s role in Wednesday’s strike would lead to a strategic shift from Libya toward the Sahel band, stretching eastwards from Senegal to Chad.

“The emphasis … will now shift south,” he said.

The U.S. Africa Command has hundreds of soldiers deployed across the region, including at an air facility in Agadez, and offers training and support to Niger’s army in aspects such as intelligence gathering and surveillance.

-NAN

Foreign Affairs / Catalonia Breaks From Spain 9 October by johneewalker: This month on Thu 05 at 08:19am

Catalonia has set Independence day from Spain for next Monday 9 October after holding a referendum, Madrid declared illegal.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said he favored mediation to find a way out of the crisis but that Spain’s central government had rejected this.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government responded by calling on Catalonia to “return to the path of law” first before any negotiations.

Mireia Boya, a Catalan lawmaker from the pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party, said a declaration of independence would follow a parliamentary session on Monday to evaluate the results of the Oct. 1 vote to break away.

“We know that there may be disbarments, arrests … But we are prepared, and in no case will it be stopped,” she said on Twitter.

Puigdemont told the BBC he would ask the region’s parliament to declare independence following the referendum, which Spain’s government and constitutional court say was illegal and in which only a minority of Catalans voted.

In a televised address on Wednesday night, Puigdemont said: “This moment calls for mediation. We have received various offers in the last hours and we will receive more.”

Without specifically mentioning plans for an independence declaration, he added: ”I am sure that in the next few days we will show the best of our country when the institutions of Catalonia will have to apply the results of the referendum.

“Today we are closer than yesterday to our historic wish.”

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government replied that Puigdemont had wasted an opportunity to put Catalonia back on a legal course. “If Mr. Puigdemont wants to talk or negotiate, or wants to send mediators, he knows perfectly well what he must do first: Return to the path of the law,” it said in a statement.

Participants in the referendum opted overwhelmingly for independence, but turnout was only about 43 percent as Catalans who favor remaining part of Spain mainly boycotted the ballot.

Spain was only restored to democracy following the death in 1975 of military dictator Francisco Franco, under whom the Catalan language and traditions were suppressed.

-NAN

Foreign Affairs / Australia To Jail Nigerian Student Igwebuike 25 October by johneewalker: This month on Thu 05 at 08:10am

An Australian court will sentence a Nigerian post-graduate student, Jackson Igwebuike on 25 October, after he was found guilty of importing methamphetamine worth $10million to Canberra.

The drug, worth N3.6 billion was imported by Igwebuike to Canberra in ornate golden fish statues in October 2015, but alert security men intercepted the drugs and substituted the ice before he collected the parcel.

The drug could have had “calamitous consequences” if sold in the community, federal prosecutors told the court.

Lawyers for the 34 year-old Nigerian, a graduate of University of Benin, agreed he acted as “more than just a mere courier” when he accepted delivery of about 8.47 grams of pure ice before he attempted to board a Murrays bus to Sydney with the drugs in his bag.

An ACT Supreme Court jury found him guilty of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug in August.

Igwebuike was caught in a police sting after Australian Border Force officers intercepted packages destined for Canberra in October 2015.

His trial heard the drugs were discovered when three 20 kilogram statues that arrived in a shipping crate from China were X-rayed by officers at Port Botany on October 8.

Inside one statue of a fish they found 43 packages that contained a combined total of 10.58 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Federal police had swapped the drugs with an “inert substance” before the fish statue was put back together and repacked.

Taps of Igwebuike’s phones picked up communication between the accused and another man in Igbo and with a freight company based in Sydney.

Prosecutors said Igwebuike used the name “Solomon David” and asked the company for the package to be delivered to an address in Kaleen.

Undercover police later watched as the packages were delivered to the address and collected by Igwebuike, who took them to a second address in the same suburb.

In a phone conversation with another man soon after, Igwebuike discussed transport and meeting places in Sydney.

He was arrested as he stood in a queue at the Jolimont Centre for a Murrays bus to Sydney on October 17.

Police seized a suitcase filled with 43 packages of the drug substitute.

Igwebuike said he hadn’t known the statues had been filled with drugs.

He said he’d been approached by two men in a carpark and asked to pick up some decorative glass items.

Those men later showed up at his house after he had collected the parcels and broke the statues open, before threatening to kill his wife and destroy him if he didn’t take the drugs to Sydney, he said.

Commonwealth prosecutor Edward Chen told a sentence hearing on Tuesday that Igwebuike had maintained he had been doing a favour for a friend and wouldn’t admit he committed the crime for profit.

“The offender does not seem to demonstrate any willingness to accept responsibility for his actions,” he said.

Defence barrister James Sabharwal said Igwebuike had come to Australia to study at the University of Canberra and the fact he would not now be able to complete his postgraduate studies was a form of punishment.

Mr Sabharwal said Igwebuike had worked in the kitchen at the territory’s jail and used his income to make phone calls to his large family, including his wife, in Nigeria.

Igwebuike, who didn’t “quite gel” with other inmates and was often alone, had been in custody since his arrest and could be deported when he was released, the court heard.

Mr Sabharwal said there was no evidence Igwebuike would have benefited from a large amount of money from his involvement.

Acting Chief Justice Hilary Penfold said some comments in a letter Igwebuike had written to the court, which indicated he did accept some responsibility, raised questions as to why he maintained his innocence to a pre-sentence report author.

-NAN

Literature / Blood And Water (a Short Story) Final by thankgod(m): This month on Wed 04 at 11:36pm
Room number 006 was pasted on the door of the last room on the corner to the right, on the long dormitory corridor. He knocked on the door three times just as the girl had instructed him to do when they spoke on the phone. After a couple of seconds, he heard the door being unlocked from inside, but no one came forward. He looked to his right; there were girls going back and forth and all had strange stares on their faces. He was thinking of turning around and quietly walking away, but his phone really meant a lot to him. The girl was sitting on a neatly made bed, typing on her laptop as he walked into the room. She didn’t look up at him, so he just stood there in the middle of the room, wondering if he had walked into a trap. She finally looked up to him, “relax; take a seat.” she said and patted a portion of the bed. She had an Aiwa sound system opposite the bed, playing jazz music at a low volume. He looked at it as he sat on the bed as it reminded him of the one that had been in his Dad’s room when he was a teenager; it was an exact replica. He remembered always sneaking into his Dad’s room to play his favorite Hip Hop music on the player back in the day.
From the corner of his eyes, he noticed the girl had been staring at him, so he nervously sat upright. The strange thing was that she didn’t avert her eyes when he caught her staring, such that it made Mark uncomfortable.
“Can I just have my phone and be on my way.” Mark said. He had heard crazy stories of horny University girls ganging up to rape boys, and he wondered if this was her plan. ‘She can’t rape me here’, he thought to himself. When looked at her again, he saw something in her eyes he couldn’t describe. It wasn’t desire; it was more like joy, and it left Mark confused. “Angela, I would really appreciate it if you would just hand over my phone, please.”
A frown appeared on the girl’s face, which was quickly replaced by a smile. She reached under her pillow and pulled out Mark’s Xperia X10.
“My name is Helen, not Angela.” She said as she handed Mark his phone.
“So sorry” he said.
“Those guys earlier were going to give you a real beating.” she said. Mark froze, and his attention shifted from the screen of his phone back to her.
“What are you talking about?” He asked looking all puzzled. 
“I’m sure you’ve heard of the Dalmatians.”
“Well…I have heard a little about them” he replied.
“Those were their pimps.” she said in a most confident manner. “You must have offended one of the Dalmatians.”
“I don’t understand all you are talking about. I’ll be on my way if you don’t mind.” Mark said and started heading towards the door.
“Mark, wait.” She said in the softest pitch of her husky voice, and rushed to block him from leaving the room. Mark stood there stunned.
“How do you know my name? I don’t remember telling you.” Mark said, looking straight at her for answers.
“Mark; who knew you would be passing through that road path earlier today?” she asked, ignoring his question.
“No one; I was going to meet my girlfriend.”
“Okay then, your girlfriend knew. What’s her name?”
“You are kidding, right?” Mark said with a little laugh. “Are you trying to tell me my girlfriend set me up? That she’s in some sort of cult?” Mark stood there, shaking his head. “Why should I believe any of this bull crap?”
“Because...” she stopped mid sentence and headed over to the Aiwa. She bent down, and turned up the volume a few notches. She removed the scarf on her head as she walked to where he was standing. He stood there, staring at her lovely black hair, which fell down to her waist. “Mark, I’m the head of the Black Amazon cult. I know everything that happens on this campus before it does. Mark got weak in his knees and held on to the door handle for support. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing yet.
“So…what’s your girlfriend’s name?”
“Susan Jones.” Mark said, reluctantly.
Helen smiled before talking. “Mark, your girlfriend is one of the Dalmatians.”
“That’s impossible. Susan?’’ Mark said and laughed. “Your story is ludicrous.”
“Why? Because you think you know her?” Helen said, looking into Mark’s eyes. “Why do you think she wears all those white Polka dot dresses? You think she’s a big Disney fan?”
Mark was confused now. “How did you know that? How do you know…?”
“Don’t be naïve.” She said, cutting him off. “That’s how they identify themselves.”
Mark was lost in thought now. He was thinking of any incidence in the past that would give him a reason to believe that Susan was really a member of that cult, but he couldn’t find any. He looked up at the mystery girl again, and asides from the weird way she always looked at him, there was something else about her he couldn't place. He had a feeling he had met the girl before, or seen her at a party recently. He went back to the thought of Susan being an actual cult member, and he just couldn’t come to terms with it. Even if she was in a cult, he couldn’t think of any reason why Susan would get guys to beat him up.
“They believe in Earthly punishment to ill-treatment of the vulnerable. You must have done something to offend Susan.”
Mark thought about the party he went to last Saturday, and he remembered getting drunk and having sex with Alicia Johnson in his car. But he didn’t think Susan would have found out about that. Besides, everyone lies about having slept with Alicia Johnson, because of how loose she was, so it would be hard for Susan to believe any rumors of him sleeping with her, he thought to himself. “But Susan would never do that to me.” Mark said out loud.
“She would be going against their laws, and there are consequences for that.”
Mark’s face was screwed up as he looked up at her. “Why did you help me?” It got Helen off guard, and she became speechless. After a couple of seconds of silence, Mark walked out of the room.
………………..

He saw his dad driving the Jaguar out as he drove into their street. He waved at Mark, and Mark bowed his head in greeting. He had been looking at his Dad differently lately, ever since he caught him at a park close to his school with another woman. He wasn’t mad at the fact that his dad was seeing another woman; he was just double pissed because she was a very much younger woman. He had watched them from afar for about half an hour, and they hadn’t spoken much, but as they held hands, he could see there was a lot of passion in their eyes.
He was parked in the garage now, but was too lazy to come out of his car. He slouched in the car seat, and got lost in thoughts again. Somewhere in his subconscious, a thought popped up, and made its way to his conscious mind. He processed the data, and with every second that passed, he was sure he was right on his conclusion. He had come to the realization that the girl he had seen with his Dad at the park was none other than Helen, the mystery girl. He got out of the car, and as he walked into the house, he wondered how his Dad had ended up dating a cult member. He also wondered why on Earth his Dad’s mistress would be on the lookout for him, and put herself in danger just to protect him.
He exchanged greetings with his Mom as he walked into the living room. She had been using her iPad, and she looked at him funny when he came to sit beside her on the couch. He was shocked when he saw that his Mom was actually going through Helen's pictures on Facebook. He felt bad for how she would be feeling at this very moment. “Umm! Mark, I have to tell you something.” his mom said and tapped his knee. Mark prepared to act as surprised as possible to what his Mom was going to tell him. “Mark, you…” she was saying and paused to hand him the iPad. He squeezed up his face as he collected the device from her. “She actually goes to your school. Mark, that's your half-sister.”
The END

Literature / Blood And Water (a Short Story) Cont... by thankgod(m): This month on Wed 04 at 11:35pm
“I’m fine Abigail, how are you doing?” Abigail had been trying to get Mark to attend her church fellowship for a while now, and she just wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. She went on and on as usual, telling Mark how good things would become once he gave his life to Christ and started attending church regularly. When Mark noticed she wasn’t going to let him go easy this time, he decided to give in, and promised to attend her Church. A big smile appeared on her chubby face. She took down Mark’s phone number, and gave him about half a dozen Christian tracts. He collected them, slipped them in his right pocket.
Susan had just finished answering a call and was putting her phone in her purse as he approached her. She looked at him, hissed, picked up her purse and walked passed him. He pulled her back by the arm, and was about to apologize, but the look on her face made him let her go. Mark knew what his girlfriend was capable of doing when angry, and this was definitely not a good place for them to settle their drama. He leaned on the Coca-Cola refrigerator and pondered what to do next. He brought out the tracks Abigail had given him, and looked to make sure she was not looking in his direction before putting them on a chair next to him. Someone that needed it more than him would find them, he had thought to himself. Just then, another girl walked up to him, with a look on her face like he was supposed to do something. He stared at the bald headed girl, wondering where he knew her from. “Hello!!! I need to get a bottle of Coke, duh!” she finally said.
“Oh! Im so sorry", Mark said, and moved out of the way.
He walked out of the cafeteria, but this time stood by the entrance. The view was another spectacle, and he could see the whole hostel area from that elevation. He looked towards the brown multiple storey building by the chapel, and wondered if he could spot the girl he had met earlier from the tiny dots of movements he could see from where he stood. His eyes hurt from focusing too long, so he stretched to relax. Whilst yawning uncontrollably, he felt something when he slipped his hand into his left pockets. He at first thought it had to be one of the tracts, but when he got it out from his pocket, he found out it was a sticky note with something scribbled on it. Just then, he noticed someone approaching him from his right side.
“Who was that girl you were talking to!!?” Susan barked out as she stood inches from his face.
“What?” He said, and quickly put the paper back in his pocket.
“I saw you talking to a girl; didn’t I? Who is she?”
“Abigail?” Mark replied, and laughed. “That’s the girl from my department, she…come on! You can’t possibly be getting mad over me talking to Abigail?”
“What are you talking about? I saw you…”She stopped mid-sentence as she was hyperventilating now. Mark stopped to think for a second, and realized who Susan was referring to, but he didn’t know how he was going to explain that situation to her. “Mark!” She shouted out.
“Hey! I’m sorry. I actually thought you were talking about Abigail.” Mark finished his sentence with a chuckle, and started walking towards his girlfriend. She put up a hand, and Mark knew what that meant, so he stopped approaching.
“So, who is she?”
“Susan, technically speaking, I don’t know her.”
“What are you talking about?” She said with a low menacing voice.
“Some guys were going to beat her up; she just used me for protection or something.”
Susan squeezed her face, and looked into space. “Susan, I swear, I don’t know the girl.”
“Call me when you get your facts right.” She said, and angrily walked out on Mark for a second time that day. He leaned on the barricade outside the cafeteria and watched her walk downhill. When she got to leveled ground, she looked up towards him and shook her head before walking off. Mark sighed, and reached into his pants pocket for his phone. His heart skipped a beat when he discovered his phone wasn't there. He checked his pockets again and again, and then he pulled out the small sticky note he had noticed earlier. ‘Helen- 0802-7794635’ was written on it. Just then, it hit him.

Literature / Blood And Water (a Short Story) by thankgod(m): This month on Wed 04 at 11:29pm
Blood and Water (A Short Story)
by
Kayode Odusanya

© 2015 Kayode Odusanya
Mark was trying to get through to Susan on the phone as he walked briskly to where they were meant to meet. With the phone glued to his right ear, a busy tone was all he could get as he wondered who could be on the other end of the line with this girlfriend this long. 
An hour had gone by since they were meant to meet at the cafeteria, he was dead sure that by now, she would be pissed at him.
“Hi?” a girl said, as she walked up briskly beside Mark from his right side. She quickly wrapped her left arm around his right, simultaneously putting up a smile. There was confusion all over Mark’s face but it felt perfect. She moved in closer and whispered in his ear, “Please act like you know me.” He looked into her face; frowned, but the beautiful smile didn’t leave her face. By now, they had gotten to a tiny path on the road, he could now see about four guys gathered under the tent that was usually occupied by the lady who sold doughnuts. There, almost instantly, he put two and two together, figured out what was going on.
She kept talking whilst they walked as Mark played along with the fake conversation to the best of his abilities. As they walked past the tent, he could see some level of disappointment in the eyes of the men. He tried to double up his pace, but the girl pulled him back, slowed him down and tightened her grip on his arm. At the end of the small path was an old rusty gate; Mark opened the gate gently as he stylishly looked back towards the tent. The four guys were arguing, and just about the same time, looked in his direction. Suddenly, in their eyes was some renewed sense of determination. Just as he was about to drag the girl along with him in a dash for the main road, she laid her hands on his cheeks, pulled his face towards hers’ and kissed him passionately. 
A few seconds went by, they disentangled and continued walking. Both silent, they only stopped when they got to the main road. The girl leaned on a sign-post on the side of the road that read 'Speed Limit: 40 Km/Hr'. Subconsciously it now clicked; Mark had always thought that it quite was ridiculous for a University campus road, but that was the last thing on his mind right now.
“Do you mind telling me what all that was about?” he said with a quite disgruntled voice. She looked his way but didn't say anything. He took a good look at her now, and noticed that her height and features were quite intimidating. He wondered why she needed his help earlier. He noticed she was still staring at him. As much as it freaked him out; he kept his eyes on hers. Just then, she stood upright and sighed.
“Thanks a lot for that.” she said with a smile.
“Well…its okay, but I’d still like to know what kind of trouble you are in. You know…”
“Sorry I had to kiss you.” she said with a frown, cutting Mark off... “You will surely feel as bad as I do later, trust me.” she continued in a barely audible voice.
“What?”
“What? Oh! Nothing…I wasn’t talking to you.” She said, and started stroking her fingers in her hair. Mark looked around him and noticed no one had passed by since they had been standing there, and fear slowly crept into his mind again. He wondered why the girl was still standing there staring at him, and not running off to some place safer.
“Look…” he said, as he scratched his head. “I really need to get to my girlfriend, are you okay?”
“Oh! yea, I’m going that way.” she said, pointing towards the right side of the road. “I stay at Amina hall.”
“Okay. That’s not far from here. I’m actually going across the road to the cafeteria, are you sure you’ll be okay?”
“Yes.” she said, before turning around. Mark stood there, staring at her coke-body figure walking away from him, and he wished he could get to know her a little more. Just then, she looked back.
“I’ll be expecting your call.” she said, and hastened her pace.
How am I supposed to call you when I don’t even have your number, Mark thought to himself. “Hey, wait!!I don’t have your number.” he yelled, but she didn’t look back. She just kept on walking, till she got to the school chapel, and disappeared by the bend down the road.
He made his way uphill to the cafeteria. That part of the campus was now an old abandoned village. Many years ago, the inhabitants of the village had won many battles because of the advantage they had of seeing their enemies approaching from downhill, and having the upper hand when fighting them off from that elevation. But as time passed, and warfare became more complex, the village was finally conquered and pillaged by foreigners who wanted the area for selfish reasons.
Mark wiped the sweat off his brow as he walked into the cafeteria. It was always a tiresome walk up the hill, and he wondered if the school made it that way so people would eat less and study more. He saw Susan sitting at her usual spot, close to the Coca Cola Refrigerator, wearing one of her favorite polka dot gowns. She was talking on the phone, and she sounded really pissed.
“Hey Mark! How are you doing?” A familiar voice called out from behind him. He reluctantly turned around.

Foreign Affairs / Four-year-old Girl Found Dead In Drain by johneewalker: This month on Wed 04 at 02:03pm

A four-year-old girl, Shaynice Talla’s lifeless body was found dumped in a drain in Eldorado Park‚ Extension 2 in Johannesburg‚ South Africa.

Shaynice Talla’s body was found an hour after her family reported her missing to the Police.

Shaynice’s aunt, Nita Mackay, said she knew something was wrong when her niece didn’t meet her at the corner of the road after work.

“When I got home I noticed she wasn’t there. Her mother thought she was with her granny but her grandmother said she hadn’t seen her since 4.30pm. Then we started looking‚”

Mackay and Tella’s mother, Samantha, went to report to the police while the community also began a search for her.

The four-year-old was later found in a drain, with her little legs sticking out.

However, Mackay said that she believed that her niece was not raped adding that when the mortuary van came to take her out of the drain her pants were not stained with blood.

She said her head was found smashed with something like a brick.

She further revealed that Talla’s six-year-old niece‚ Makayla Lee‚ was also found murdered at the same spot on a koppie in Eldorado Park‚ Extension 2 in Johannesburg.

The suspect was later found hiding behind bricks near the body, the community alleged that he always lurked around the corner where the body was found.

Eldorado Park community leader and anti-drug activist Dereleen James told TimesLIVE that the community has a high rate of drugs’ usage adding that it was the reason for the high rate of crime.

Police have confirmed that an autopsy revealed that Talla died from lack of oxygen to the brain due to her head injury. She was not raped.

_punch ng

Business / 3 Billion Yahoo Accounts Hacked by johneewalker: This month on Wed 04 at 01:44pm

An estimated three billion Yahoo accounts were compromised during a data breach in 2013, the company said on Wednesday.

The figure tripled the number revealed by the company in 2016.

The revised figure was issued after Yahoo admitted in December that over 1 billion users’ data, including names, email addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth had been impacted by the August 2013 breach.

Verizon, the U.S. communications giant that purchased Yahoo earlier this year, said in a statement that it had found “all accounts that existed at the time of the August 2013 theft were likely affected.”

The company did not provide any details about who may have been behind the attack except for saying that an “unauthorised party” stole the data.

Although credit card data and bank account information were not believed to have been affected, Yahoo encouraged users to review account statements and monitor credit reports.

The attack is separate from the one disclosed in September 2016 involving data on 500 million Yahoo users.

Yahoo said it believed that attack was carried out by “a state-sponsored actor.”

Sports / All Eyes On Pique As Spain Play Last Home Game by johneewalker: This month on Wed 04 at 11:41am

It should have been a celebration of Spain qualifying for next summer’s World Cup but instead Julen Lopetegui takes his team into their penultimate match in Group G trying his best to weather a political storm.

If Spain get a better result against Albania than Italy manage against Macedonia then they will have qualified automatically for Russia 2018.

And if they win the game, but Italy win theirs too, then they will need just a point away in Israel on Monday to secure qualification.

But instead of anticipating a carnival atmosphere at the Rico Perez stadium in Alicante, Lopetegui is just hoping supporters do not jeer his defender Gerard Pique who was verbally abused at Spain’s first training session of the week in Madrid on Monday.

Pique publicly backed the referendum in Catalonia that took place on Sunday despite being declared illegal by the Spanish government who sent national police and the Civil Guard into the region to prevent people accessing polling stations.

Pique was pictured voting in the referendum shortly after addressing reporters following Barcelona’s behind-closed-doors 3-0 win over Las Palmas at the weekend.

In the interview he admitted he would step aside from the Spain squad if his open political stance was deemed a problem by his bosses.

Lopetegui has so far backed Pique. He said in an interview with Spanish radio on Monday: “His commitment to the team has always been extraordinary. We do not analyse political opinion.

“He is selectable because he wanted to come here with us. He has always behaved well and all the time that is the case we will not look any further.”

Spain’s second most prominent Catalan midfielder Sergio Busquets was slightly contradictory when he spoke to Spanish radio station Cope on Tuesday.

He said: “This is my most difficult moment with the Spain team because of everything that is happening. I think it will be difficult to find a solution to the Pique situation.”

But he also added: “There has been no special summit between the players. I don’t know if Pique and Sergio Ramos have spoken. The atmosphere within the squad is exceptional.”

Pique and Ramos’ defensive partnership is the rock on which the team’s success has been built. They won the World Cup together in 2010 and then the European Championship in 2012.

But Ramos is a staunch Spanish patriot and has not always seen eye-to-eye with Pique even before he became such an outspoken advocate for the illegal referendum on Catalan independence.

Pique and Ramos will be even more important than usual against Albania on Friday precisely because Busquets will not be available to play in front of them in holding midfield. The Barcelona player is suspended for the game.

Lopetegui will also be without striker Alvaro Morata, midfielder Andres Iniesta and right-back Dani Carvajal for the match.

None of that ought to stop Spain winning their final home game of the group matches but Lopetegui will be hoping not just for the right response from his players on the pitch but also from the spectators.

He took to social media this week to appeal to them to back the team. He tweeted: “Concentrating on the important game against Albania. We need the support of the great fans in Alicante for this important step towards the World Cup.”

-NAN

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