Creative Writing Pedagogy in the Accelerated Learning Program Classroom

Source: Big Time Magic: Creative Writing Pedagogy in the Accelerated Learning Program Classroom | Faculty Focus

Southern Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria Bleeds While The Government Watches!

There seems to be no government in Nigeria. Terrorist herdsmen are killing the Christian population in Southern Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria right before government security forces. They are decimating the Christian population with intent to take over the territory.

‘Rejoice like the father of the Prodigal Son’, Pope Francis

Pope Francis at the Sunday Angelus March 27 2022. Vatican News. Pope Francis at the Sunday Angelus March 27 2022 | Vatican News.

Jesus Christ’s Parable of the Prodigal Son is a lesson about forgiveness, rejoicing, and how to show a true welcome to those struggling with their sins, Pope Francis said before the Angelus on Sunday.

The parable “leads us to God’s heart who always forgives compassionately and tenderly,” the pope said March 27. “Always, God always forgives. We are the ones who get tired of asking for forgiveness, but he always forgives.”

He spoke to a crowd of about 30,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus.

For Pope Francis, Jesus’ parable shows “that God is a Father who not only welcomes us back, but rejoices and throws a feast for his son who has returned home after having squandered all his possessions. We are that son, and it is moving to think about how much the Father always loves us and waits for us.”

The Parable of the Prodigal Son, recounted in the Gospel of Luke’s fifteenth chapter, tells the story of a young man who asks his father for his share of his inheritance, then leaves the country to live a life of dissolution. After losing everything, the son returns home thinking he can beg his father to give him a menial job and a lowly place in his household. His father instead runs to welcome his lost son and throws a celebration for him.

The father’s loyal son—the prodigal son’s older brother—perceives this treatment as a wrong. This older son, Pope Francis said, “goes into a crisis in front of his father,” and such fatherly behavior towards an errant relative can also put many of us today in a crisis.

“We are tempted to take his side, at least in part: he had always done his duty, he had not left home, and so he becomes indignant on seeing the father embracing his son again after having behaved so badly,” the pope commented.

The older son tells his father he objects to celebrating “this son of yours.” He professes not to understand his father.

‘Enough!’ End war before it ends us, Pope Francis

 Pope Francis at the general audience in Paul VI Hall on March 2, 2022

Pope Francis has again lamented the war in Ukraine and appealed for peace more than a month after Russia’s invasion.

“Enough. Stop it. Silence the weapons. Move seriously toward peace,” Pope Francis said again in remarks after the Sunday Angelus March 27.

Speaking to a crowd of some 30,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, the pope said more than a month had passed since “the beginning of this cruel and senseless war that, like every war, represents a defeat for everyone, for every one of us.”

“We need to reject war, a place of death where fathers and mothers bury their children, where men kill their brothers and sisters without even having seen them, where the powerful decide and the poor die,” he said.

The pope noted reports that half of all children in Ukraine have been displaced due to the invasion.

“This means destroying the future, causing dramatic trauma in the smallest and most innocent among us,” he said. “This is the bestiality of war – a barbarous and sacrilegious act!”

“War should not be something that is inevitable. We should not accustom ourselves to war,” the pontiff said. “Instead, we need to convert today’s anger into a commitment for tomorrow, because if, after what is happening, we remain like we were before, we will all be guilty in some way. Before the danger of self-destruction, may humanity understand that the moment has come to abolish war, to erase it from human history before it erases human history.”

“I beg every political leader to reflect on this, to dedicate themselves to this! And, looking on battered Ukraine to understand how each day of war worsens the situation for everyone,” said the pope.

“Let us continue to pray untiringly to the Queen of Peace,” he said, noting that he had consecrated humanity and especially Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25.

That prayer of consecration was joined by scores of bishops, priests and lay faithful from around the world. Pope Francis thanked everyone for “such a huge and intense participation.”

The war in Ukraine has displaced some ten million people from their homes, 3.6 million of whom have left for neighboring countries, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has said.

As of March 23 the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded 977 civilian deaths and nearly 1,600 injuries in Ukraine, but considers these figures to be incomplete and far fewer than the final casualty counts, the Washington Post reports.

How To Stay Positive

1. Understand things are temporary:

We struggle to understand that what we’re going through is temporary. We fail to remember all the other times situations seemed dire.

When we keep in mind that things are temporary, it helps us to stay positive. We begin to look back on the past, see the struggles and doubt we once had, and then how we moved on to tremendous success.

Don’t look at the temporary as a permanent situation. These bad times will go the way of the dodo bird.

2. Get moving:

A sedentary life is a depressing life. Leaders will find themselves more depressed than the average person when they fail to move.

With all of the meetings, phone calls, and sit-downs that we have, we can find ourselves immobile for most of the day. We can change our sedentary lifestyles.

Instead of sitting in your office to take the phone call, stand up and pace the office. Meetings that you usually sit down in, choose to do a walking meeting. You could walk the office building hallways or you could step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and walk the city streets.

According to a Psychology Today article, walking can lift your mood, even when you don’t expect it to. So, get moving. It’ll help you to stay positive.

3. Write a thank you note:

Think about all of the people you’re grateful for. It could be your father, your former boss, or a fantastic employee. You need to thank the people who have positively impacted your life.

Take time to write a thank-you note to the people you most appreciate. Writing thank you notes will help you to focus on the good times. You see that there are people who care for you. You see that things aren’t always bad.

Write a thank-you note today. You won’t regret sending it out to those who have impacted your life.

4. Watch a funny YouTube video:

Comedy can help boost our positivity levels. It’s hard not to feel more positive when you’re laughing and smiling. I recommend you watch a funny video on YouTube or another streaming channel.

Roman Abramovich ‘poisoned’ at peace negotiations with Ukraine

The Russian oligarch reportedly suffered peeling skin on his face and hands, and red teary eyes

Roman Abramovich
Roman Abramovich is believed to have recovered from his symptoms following the incident Credit: REUTERS

Roman Abramovich reportedly survived an alleged poisoning attempt earlier this month.

The Russian oligarch and Ukrainian peace negotiators suffered symptoms of a suspected poisoning following a meeting they attended in Kyiv in early March, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Mr Abramovich was said to have shown symptoms including peeling skin on his face and hands, and red teary eyes.

According to one early unconfirmed report, Mr Abramovich allegedly lost his sight for several hours.

He has since recovered from the symptoms, The Wall Street Journal reported. He was reportedly treated for his symptoms in Turkey.

A person close to Mr Abramovich told the newspaper it was unclear who was behind the poisoning.

The alleged incident is believed to have taken place on March 3, and at least two Ukrainians involved in the peace talks also reportedly suffered symptoms.

Roman Abramovich
Roman Abramovich pictured at Tel Aviv airport in Israel after being sanctioned by the UK Credit: REUTERS

An investigation into the event, organised by the investigative journalism group Bellingcat, concluded that the alleged poisoning attempt was “not intended to kill” and was “just a warning”, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Bellingcat reported that Mr Abramovich and another Russian entrepreneur were involved in negotiations until about 10pm on March 3. His symptoms reportedly emerged later that evening at a Kyiv flat, and lessened in the morning.

Bellingcat said that Mr Abramovich, and the two Ukrainians affected, ate only chocolate and drank water in the hours before they were said to have fallen ill.

An expert told Bellingcat the symptoms could be the result of attempted poisoning with a chemical weapon, or less likely caused by microwave radiation.

Rustem Umerov
Rustem Umerov, a Ukrainian politician, was also reportedly poisoned in the incident Credit: Sergei Kholodilin/BelTA Pool Photo/AP

Among the others affected was Rustem Umerov, a Ukrainian politician, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Ukrainian peace team suggested the alleged poisoning attempt was carried out by hardline Russian officials to undermine the negotiations.

Mr Abramovich has been moving between Moscow, Lviv and elsewhere for negotiations. He has even met Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, as part of the talks.

‘Various conspiracy theories’

A spokesman for Mr Zelensky said he was not affected and had no knowledge of any poisoning attempt.

An adviser to the president said: “All members of the negotiating group are working today as usual.” They added that there were “a lot of speculations” and “various conspiracy theories” about what had taken place.

The Ukrainian president has previously indicated that he received signals of support from Mr Abramovich, noting that he was one of several Russian businessmen who offered to “help” de-escalate the war and rebuild Ukraine afterwards.

Placeholder image for youtube video: IYjxZlZgvmI

The Chelsea owner has been sanctioned by Britain and the EU. However, the US Treasury reportedly held off sanctioning him amid claims he was acting as a potential peace broker.

Last week, it was reported that Vladimir Putin had approved Mr Abramovich taking part in the peace talks. There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin on the reported poisoning attempt.

Nigerian Army Claims To Rescue Abductees; ‘We Paid Ransome For Their Release’, Distressed Community

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Community denies soldiers rescued kidnapped victims, says we paid over N20m ransom

“The ONLY role played by the military was meeting the bandits in a pre – arranged rendezvous for a formal ‘handing over of the captive’s for onward submission to us in a bizarre manner that was still confusing to us.

Residents of Guga in Bakori local government area of Katsina State have faulted a claim by the Nigerian Army that it rescued 36 people from the community kidnapped by bandits.

BBC Hausa Service had reported that soldiers rescued the victims after a gun battle.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how bandits stormed the community on February 7 and abducted 36 people including the village head, Alhaji Ummaru.

Ten other people were also killed during the attack that lasted several hours.

They were, however, released after a month, following the payment of N26 million as ransom by the community.

According to an in-law of the village head, Nafiu Muhammadu, the bandits had reached out to the family two days after the abduction and demanded a N30m ransom.

“They were negotiating with the village head’s junior brother and some elders in the community. But when they were informed that the sum mentioned was impossible, they promised to discuss with their leader and revert, which they did after three days,” he said.

We contributed money

Speaking in a statement on behalf of the community, Mahadi Dan – Binta, said people of the village and other well-meaning people contributed the money for the release of their relatives.

He said the news story of the gun battle between bandits and soldiers was reported by the BBC Hausa in its morning bulletin on the 25 March, 2022.

“I wish to respectfully refute this statement from the Nigerian Army! The statement was a total misrepresentation, misinformation and untrue! We saw it as a slap to our face and disgraceful to our dignity,” he said.

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Mr Dan – Binta added that the people of the village paid the money in two instalments.

His wife and daughter were among those abducted during the invasion.

“The ONLY role played by the military was meeting the bandits in a pre – arranged rendezvous for a formal ‘handing over of the captiveS for onward submission to us in a bizarre manner that was still confusing to us.

“After collecting the second instalment of N11,000,000:00, from us, the bandits armed to the teeth directed us to go to either Faskari or ‘Yankara to await further directives (this was after showing us the victims to assure/convinced us of fulfilling their part of the bargain).

“It was later around 5:00 PM that I received a call from an unknown cellphone number.
The caller identified himself as a Military Officer from a Transit/Emergency Barrack from Faskari asking if I am the Chairman Bakori Local Government to which I answered to be only a community leader. He then informed me; the abducted people from Guga were in their hands and I should come for handing over to the community,” he added.

Mr Dan – Binta, however, said he respects the Nigerian Army and doesn’t wish to ridicule their efforts in fighting bandits.

“My wish here is far away from ridiculing our gallant soldiers but to bring out the fact for public’s consumption and vindicate the people of Guga that negotiated the release of the abducted people on a price,” he said.

 

 

Fuel subsidy ‘a criminal enterprise’ – Nigerian Minister

Customs boss not sick, on leave – Official

Comptroller General (CG) of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali

Abdullahi Adamu, New APC National Chairman.

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Brooklyn ‘Woo Gang’ Members Used 800 Stolen ID’s to Receive $4 Million in Covid Relief Funds

 

A Brooklyn-based gang, the “Woo gang” got their hands on more than $4 million in COVID-19 relief cash before they were caught and charged. 11 suspects in total were charged Thursday.

The gang members were able to receive around $4.3 million in total from the unemployment program between March 2020 and October 2021. In addition to bragging about their successful scamming in a rap music video for the song ‘Trappin’, many of the members also “flashed stacks of the cash on social media.”

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said he will continue to go after gang members attempting to rip off the U.S. government. “These government programs are designed to provide financial assistance to those who are most in need during an unprecedented pandemic” said Peace.

“Unfortunately government aid programs have long been a feeding frenzy for scammers but the scale and the magnitude of the fraud in the unemployment program created by the CARES act has reached staggering levels” said Nino Perrotta, President of Sequoia Securities Group.

“Unfortunately because of the haste in implementing the government programs, they continue to lack the necessary checks and balances required in securing the programs overall integrity” added Perrotta. “With regards to recovery of these stolen assets, unless large sums of the money is in cash at the time they were arrested, or in bank accounts in the names of the alleged defendants, the process for recovery is both time consuming and very technical.”

In Nigeria, Bandits Storm Kaduna Airport And Scuttle Scheduled Flight

The military regain control of Kaduna airport after terrorists’ attack

By AdvocateNews on 27/03/2022


…attackers kill worker, ground Lagos-bound flight

Terrorists, numbering over 200, invaded the Kaduna International Airport in Northwest Nigeria,  disrupting operation and killing one security personnel of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency.

The attack caused panic at the airport and reportedly grounded a Lagos-bound aircraft scheduled to take off at 12:30pm.

Sources at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria said the terrorists attacked VHF Omni Directional Range equipment site at the airport and killed a security man guarding the facility.

According to Systems Interface, VHF Omni Directional Range is “a short/medium-range radio navigation system used to aid aircraft in determining their flight position and direction in relation to their destination using.”

The attack, it was gathered, forced the airport authorities to temporarily shut down activities while the military battled the suspected terrorists.

A source, who confided in one of our correspondents, said the terrorists vowed to shut down the airport.

The source said, “The terrorists’ attack started around 12am (Saturday). They started attacking the airport around midnight. The terrorists were said to have alleged that military personnel took away their cattle.

“But the military was able to repel them that midnight and we thought that was all. In fact, our staff members resumed work this morning as usual. They worked around the runway five till around 12pm.

“Then, shortly after that, some NAMA staff went to check some of their equipment then the bandits appeared and started shooting. The NAMA engineers scampered for safety; they could not even go and enter the vehicle that took them to the site. It was in the process that their security man was shot in the head.

“The security man was rushed to the hospital and he was confirmed dead.”

The acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Voke Ivbaze, while confirming the attack however, said the intervention of the military prevented the bandits from stalling the operations of the Federal Airports Authority.

Asked whether the attack affected FAAN’s operations at the airport in any way, she replied, “No, not all. It was in the morning and the military was able to intervene.

“So, it didn’t affect our operations and actually the two aircraft that were on ground at the time, they took off eventually.”

Later in a statement on Saturday night, FAAN explained that the terrorits attacked Runway 05 axis of the airport.

It said, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria regrets to state that a group of bandits attacked the Runway 05 axis of Kaduna airport earlier in the day.

“However, a combined team of anti-banditry military personnel and crime investigation unit of FAAN Aviation Security Department swiftly intervened for rescue operation, with one casualty reported in the incident.

“Normalcy has since been restored at the airport. The team also recovered two motorbikes abandoned by the bandits.”

The agency stated that heavy reinforcement team from the Nigerian Defence Academy was on ground to ensure safety and security of airport workers/users.

It said the FAAN AVSEC department had equally released operational vehicles to the team for patrol purposes.

“The authority uses this opportunity to sympathise with the family and friends of the victim of this unfortunate incident.

“We shall continue to give further updates where necessary,” it stated.

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