Category Archives: media

American Broadcaster, Larry King of CNN Dies At 87

Famous American broadcaster, Larry King, and longtime CNN host who became an icon through his interviews with countless newsmakers and his sartorial sensibilities, has died. He was 87.

According to CNN, his son, Chance, confirmed King’s death Saturday morning. King hosted “Larry King Live” on CNN for over 25 years.

A statement posted on his verified Facebook announcing his passing read, “With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host, and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,” the statement said. “For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster.”

A cause of death was not provided, but CNN reported earlier this month that King was fighting coronavirus, citing a source close to his family.

King survived a major heart attack in 1987. In 2017, he revealed he had been treated for lung cancer; two years later he had an angioplasty and suffered a stroke.

In a career spanning six decades, King interviewed a staggering number of celebrities, political leaders and public figures, including every US president from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump.

Telegram chief says 25 million new users joined the platform in last 3 days

Telegram is a popular social media platform in a number of countries and is used both for private communications and sharing information and news.

The encrypted messaging app Telegram has registered 25 million new users in the past 72 hours, its Russia-born founder Pavel Durov said Tuesday, on the heels of WhatsApp announcing a change to its privacy terms.

Durov, 36, said on his Telegram channel that the app had over 500 million monthly active users in the first weeks of January and “25 million new users joined Telegram in the last 72 hours alone”.

The surge in downloads comes after WhatsApp, which boasts over two billion users, introduced controversial changes to its privacy conditions that will allow it to share more data with its parent company Facebook.

“People no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services,” Durov said without directly referring to the rival app.

WhatsApps’s new terms sparked criticism as users outside Europe who do not accept the new conditions before February 8 will be cut off from the messaging app.

Telegram is a popular social media platform in a number of countries, particularly in the former Soviet Union and Iran, and is used both for private communications and sharing information and news.

Durov on Tuesday said Telegram has become the “largest refuge” for those seeking a private and secure communications platform and assured new users that his team “takes this responsibility very seriously”.

Telegram was founded in 2013 by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, who also founded Russia’s social media network VKontakte.

Telegram refuses to cooperate with authorities and handover encryption keys, which resulted in its ban in several countries, including Russia.

Last year, Russia announced that it will lift its ban on the messenger app after more than two years of unsuccessful attempts to block it.

Turkey Presidency quits WhatsApp, switches to local app BiP over privacy change

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s media office says it is quitting WhatsApp after the messaging app’s move to oblige many of its users to agree to a controversial new privacy policy.

In statements made through WhatsApp on Sunday, presidency officials said that media office will update journalists via BiP, a unit of Turkish communication company Turkcell, from Monday.

Following WhatsApp’s forced update in its privacy policy this week, users in Turkey have objected to it on Twitter with the hashtag #DeletingWhatsapp.

According to Turkish state media quoting Turkcell, BiP gained more than 1.12 million users in just 24 hours, boasting more than 53 million users worldwide.

Alternations made to WhatsApp’s terms and services will be effective from February 8 and they will allow it to share data with parent company Facebook and its other subsidiaries.

Users have to agree to the new terms in order to be able to keep using the application after the deadline.

On Saturday, Ali Taha Koc, head of the Turkish Presidential Digital Transformation Office, criticised WhatsApp’s new terms of services and the exemption from the new data-sharing rules for users in the United Kingdom and the European Union.

He called on Turks to use “national and local” apps such as BiP and Dedi.

“The distinction between EU member countries and others in terms of data privacy is unacceptable! As we have cited in the Information and Communication Security Guideline, foreign origin applications bear significant risks regarding data security,” Koc said in a tweet.

“That’s why we need to protect our digital data with local and national software and develop them in line with our needs. Let’s not forget that Turkey’s data would stay in Turkey thanks to local and national solutions.”

New rules
The firm said the updated terms will allow additional sharing of information between WhatsApp and Facebook and its other applications like Instagram and Messenger such as contacts and profile data but not the content of messages which remain encrypted.

Facebook aims to monetise WhatsApp by allowing businesses to contact their clients via the platform and to sell them products directly using the service, as they already do in India.

Facebook has come under increasing pressure from regulators as it tries to integrate its services.

In 2017, the EU fined the US social media giant 110 million euros (then $120m) for providing incorrect and misleading information about its 2014 takeover of WhatsApp concerning the ability to link accounts between the services.

Federal and state regulators in the US have accused Facebook of using its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram to crush competition and filed antitrust lawsuits last month that aim to force the company to divest from them.

In November, Turkey fined global social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, 10 million lira ($1.18m) each for not complying with a new social media law.

The new law, which came into effect in October, requires platforms with more than one million daily users in Turkey to appoint a representative accountable to Turkish courts, abide by orders to remove “offensive” content within 48 hours and store user data inside Turkey.

THE CHANGING NARRATIVES OF THE ABIA ONLINE OPPOSITION COMMENTATORS

By Onyebuchi Ememanka

Events of the last one week have revealed the true nature of the folks who do online opposition in Abia State.

These events have confirmed an opinion I have held from the beginning, that these guys have one objective, namely, to discredit the administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu AT ALL COSTS!

The release of pictures of a beautiful and well paved Osusu Road threw them off balance. They went into a negative frenzy of sorts. They ran helter skelter. Their disappointment was obvious.

This is understandable.

The old Osusu Road which depicted massive dilapidation made their job easy. Indeed, the road was in a terrible shape. Trees and other forms of vegetation had found a natural habitat in the middle of the road.
The guys went to work. Hundreds of pictures of the terrible Osusu Road trended heavily on all social media platforms. They used it as a signpost of the incompetence of Ikpeazu administration. Despite the tens of roads done by this administration, Osusu Road was used to rubbish every effort made by Ikpeazu. For the outside world, they saw Aba, Abia and Ikpeazu from the prism of a decayed Osusu Road.

Little did they know that Osusu Road would ever bounce back from the dead into a lovely scenery that is just a beauty to behold.

And so they changed strategy.

They would never live to see Ikpeazu get any accolades. Never!

After searching in vain for reasons to discredit the work, they now have adopted a new system.

Osusu Road is a very short distance road! What’s all the fuss about a road that is less than 3km?

Once their Chiefs conjured it, they all latched on.

But they are being smart by half. Or even a quarter.

For the several months that they played around the entire blogosphere with pictures of Osusu Road, never for once did they mention that it was a short distance road. They lampooned Ikpeazu for abandoning one of the most important arterial roads in Aba.
Then Osusu was a strategic road. Now, it has suddenly become an inconsequential, short distance road. Simply because Ikpeazu fixed it.

Some have become emergency quantity surveyors who sit in their houses and estimate the cost of building roads. The idea is to show that the cost of the roads are small and doesn’t warrant any cause for accolades.

Really?

If it’s so cheap to do them, how come they were abandoned for 15 years?

They forgot that Osusu Road has been abandoned since 2002 or thereabouts. This was a road commissioned by a Governor in this state with pomp and pegeantry. The road collapsed after two years of its rehabilitation and has remained abandoned ever since then. Ikpeazu inherited a decayed Osusu Road. This point must be made.

Same goes for Milverton Avenue.
Every Aba man knows that Milverton is a key road in the economy of Aba. Though short, it’s an extremely strategic road for the Aba Business Community. It’s been abandoned for more than 15 years. People have shouted. The bad state of that road has affected businesses in Aba.
Now Ikpeazu’s caterpillars have rolled into Milverton and its 95% reasy. The opposition online choir is dismissing it as a short road!

Omuma Road will be flagged off for reconstruction on Monday by the Governor. The story of Omuma is well known. I cannot even remember how many years it’s been abandoned. By the time Ikpeazu fixes the road, watch what they will say. Ordinary Omuma road? How many kilometers?

They will say the same thing about Ngwa Road when it’s completed. Obohia, Ohanku and Uratta will also be judged the same way.

I have learnt deep lessons from all of these.
Remain focused. Don’t allow discordant tunes played by a confused and frustrated choir distract you.
People will always talk, no matter what you do.

I am a very happy man. I see great things happening. By December 2022, these guys will be in greater pains. I have seen the plan on ground. It’s a realistic and workable plan. Aba will bounce back in full, with a solid network of roads never seen before since after Mbakwe.

They never knew things would turn out this way.

Now I begin to appreciate what my boss told me sometime ago.

“Ururuaja, all my life, I have always been underestimated by people. From my days as a boy. Through the various stages of my life, through the different schools I attended, people underestimated my abilities, and you know what? I like it that way. I like being the under dog in a fight. But they usually get shocked how I end. They are dumbfounded at the end. There is no single assignment that I have undertaken in life that I didn’t succeed. None. Not one”.

When the race for Governor started in 2014, Ikpeazu was the most unlikely person to emerge from the PDP. The field was filled with top political gladiators. Serving Senators, Ministers, billionaire businessmen, etc. No one gave him a chance.
He emerged!
To the shock of everyone.
A common ordinary waste manager? Defeating all these men? How did it happen? They cried bitterly.

In the elections proper, he was up against those who felt they owned the world. He dusted them and stuffed their big mouths with dry sand, ururuaja.
No one believed it. They wept and wailed and cried. They did everything under the sun to stop him but he stood strong. God stood with him. The man and his Chi!

In 2019, the same events were repeated. He beat them silly. Till date, they are still in shock.

By 2023, Ikpeazu will hand over a stronger Abia and much more infrastructurally updated Aba.

You don’t have to believe it.

Just sit back and watch it happen.

Have a great weekend, folks.

*Onyebuchi Ememanka is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Abia State.

UK court blocks US attempt to extradite Julian Assange of Wikileaks

The United Kingdom has blocked United States’ attempt to extradite Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), UK District Judge Vanessa Baraitser on January 4 took the decision, but RSF has expressed extreme disappointment that the court failed to take a stand for press freedom and journalistic protections.

According to a statement by Rebecca Vincent, RSF Director of International Campaigns, “We disagree with the judge’s assessment that the case was not politically motivated and was not centred on journalism and free speech.

“This decision leaves the door open for further similar prosecutions and will have a chilling effect on national security reporting around the world if the root issues are not addressed”.

Although Judge Baraitser decided against extradition, the grounds for her decision were strictly based on Assange’s serious mental health issues and the conditions he would face in detention in the US. On the substantive points in the case – in which the US government has pursued Assange on 17 counts under the Espionage Act and one count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act – the judge’s decision was heavily in favour of the prosecution’s arguments, and dismissive of the defence.

The US government has indicated that it intends to appeal the extradition decision. Assange remains detained on remand in high-security Belmarsh prison, pending the judge’s consideration of his bail application on 6 January.

RSF has called again for his immediate release, and says it will continue to monitor proceedings.

Despite extensive difficulties securing access – including refusal by the judge to accredit NGO observers and threats of arrest by police on the scene – RSF monitored the 4 January hearing at London’s Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey), and has been the only NGO to monitor the full extradition proceedings against Assange.

BREAKING: Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah, dies at 58

The publisher of Leadership newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, is dead.

Multiple sources from his family and the newspaper organisation confirmed that he died on Friday “after a very brief illness.”

“Yes, it is true. I was just told now,” a family member told our correspondent on the telephone on Friday evening.

When asked if he had been sick, the source simply said “yes, but very briefly.”

The deceased was aged 58.

He was born on May 1, 1962.

A trained pharmacist, Nda-Isaiah was a politician and newspaper columnist.
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, he was one of the party’s presidential aspirants for the 2015 election.

He alongside former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Governor Rochas Okorocha and former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso among others lost the ticket to Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) who later won the election by beating the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Goodluck Jonathan.

As of the time of filing this report, the deceased’s family and the Leadership newspaper are yet to issue a statement on his death.

Toni Kan buries mum Dec 16th

The family of Louis Onwordi of Umudike Quarters, Isieke High Street Ibusa in Delta has announced the passing of their wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law and auntie, Mrs. Patricia Oyibo Onwordi nee Okonkwo.

A retired teacher, Mrs. Onwordi had a distinguished teaching career during which she rose to Head of Children section at Grace Children School, Gbagada.

She also taught at Madonna School, Surulere; St Louis, Kano; St. Augustine’s College, Ibusa and St Thomas’ College (now FGGC), Ibusa.

Mrs. Onwordi who will be buried on December 16, 2020 in her home town, Ibusa, was a trained sculptor and talented ceramicist.

She is survived by her husband, Mr. Louis Ozulonye Onwordi and five children among whom is celebrated writer and PR man, Toni Kan.

Speaker Gbajabiamila’s security aide’s kills vendor in Abuja

A newspaper vendor allegedly hit by a stray bullet fired by a security aide attached to House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, died Thursday night.

The deceased was allegedly hit in the head.

An eyewitness said there was confusion at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, when the shot was fired.

The victim was rushed to the National Hospital “unfortunately he has passed away,” the witness said.

He added that “it is customary of the speaker to give out cash anytime he passes through the area. However, yesterday, his convoy was surrounded by unidentified people.

The Chairman of the Newspapers Vendors Association in FCT, Etim Eteng, said: “The vendors and other hawkers usually run after VIPs and lawmakers whenever they see them. In fact, they can identify the big men by their vehicles. So, the vendors flocked around the speaker’s convoy and he gave them some money but a gunshot just went off. The bullet hit Ifeanyi in the head and he fell down. The fellow who fired the shot said he wanted to fire into the air.”

The National Hospital spokesman, Dr Tayo Haastrup, confirmed that the vendor died of gunshot injuries.

Officials of the speaker’s office promised to send a statement last night, but they never did as at 11:30pm press time.

Efforts to reach the FCT Police spokesman Mariam Yusuf, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), were abortive.

But a senior officer confirmed the incident, but said it was not a policeman that fired the shot.

Nigerian Defence Intelligence plans to kill me, Sahara Reporters founder, Omoyele Sowore cries out

Omoyele Sowore, Nigerian activist and founder of online news agency, Sahara Reporters, has disclosed that a bounty has been placed on his head.

According to the journalist, the Defence Intelligence academy put a bounty on his head, that he must be arrested and murdered.

He wrote on his Twitter page(https://twitter.com/YeleSowore/status/1326617987558887425?s=19) “Info reaching me now is that a signal from Defence Intelligence Agency has put a bounty on my head, that I must be arrested or murdered as they claim I would resist arrest in the next 24hrs! This is from the Defence HQ here is Abuja!

“The Inspector General of Police, Adamu is also involved and I am sure the DSS are all involved. Be it known that this can’t affect the struggle for freedom! It doesn’t matter what they do to me, please let this generation never give up, we just have to do this now so that we will never leave the next generation of Nigerians with this recurring nonsense! Thank you!”, he tweeted.

How we were attacked -Nation Newspaper

The Nation Newspaper has given details of how its premises was attacked and its properties destroyed on Wednesday afternoon.

Adeniyi Adesina, the editor of the newspaper, disclosed in a statement: “Armed men on motorcycles invaded the headquarters of The Nation on Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos on Wednesday afternoon.

“In a commando-like manner, they kicked their way into the premises after scaring away security men on duty, brandishing their sophisticated guns.

“They poured petrol on the frontage of the building and set fire to it.

“Some of the vehicles parked within the premises were set ablaze, others vandalised.

“Many boys came thereafter and swooped on the office, looting everything they could lay their hands on. These include desktop computers, laptops, air conditioners and other office equipment.

“At the time of the attack, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Mr. Victor Ifijeh, was among those trapped within the office, while the fire raged on. They were evacuated when men of Operation Mesa security outfit arrived. Their arrival ended the free rein of the invaders.

“It was obviously a targeted attack on the free press.

“The Nation had been listed on Twitter and other social media platforms by sympathisers of the ongoing destructive activities, as a target of attack.

“The Nation has robustly reported the protests fairly, giving voice to the agitations of the youths for a better Nigeria.

“The Management is at a loss as to why the company should be a target of such unwarranted attack.”