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The world’s population is set to grow by 2.2 billion between 2018 and 2050, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has said.

UNFPA, in its ‘State of World Population 2018’ survey released in Geneva, aid more than half of that growth – 1.3 billion – is likely to be in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to UNFPA, there are 43 countries where women have more than four or more children, and 38 of these are in Africa.

In all but five East African countries, fewer than half of all women surveyed, said they would prefer not to have any more children.

According to UNFPA’s predictions, Africa’s share of the world population will grow from 17 per cent in 2017, to 26 per cent in 2050.

On the African continent, fertility rates were “significantly lower” in cities than in rural areas, the report indicated.

In Ethiopia, women have around 2.1 children in cities, whereas they have around five in the rest of the country.

The UN agency said in sub-Saharan Africa, women’s rights were hampered by limited access to healthcare and education, along with “entrenched gender discrimination”.

Monica Ferro, Director of UNFPA in Geneva, said the trend globally was toward smaller families, indicating that more people are making choices about exactly how many children they want, or can afford to raise.

“No matter if it is a high fertility-rate country or low fertility-rate country, in both of them, you will find individuals and couples who say they don’t have the number of children they want.

“They either have too many or too few,” the UNFPA official said

Underlining the link between conflict and insecurity with bigger families, the UNFPA data also shows that Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Timor-Leste and Yemen have higher fertility rates than the overall average of 2.5 children per woman.

“In developing countries, 671 million women have chosen to use modern contraception.

“But at the same time, we know that 250 million in the developing world want to control their fertility, and lack access to modern contraceptive methods,” Ferro said.

She said in the nearly 25 years since the landmark International Conference on Population and Development was endorsed by 179 Governments, people’s reproductive rights have “substantially improved around the world”.

She noted that States agreed then that it was important for couples and individuals to decide the number, spacing and timing of their children, and that such decisions were made free from discrimination, coercion or violence.

“Every year, 300,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth because they have no choices in maternal healthcare; every day, thousands of girls are forced into child and early marriage and are victims of female genital mutilation.

“They have no choices,” the UNFPA official said.

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Dennis Hof, a brothel-owning Republican candidate for America’s Nevada state legislature who died this week will remain on the ballot and win his election in November, his campaign manager has predicted.

Hof, 72, who died on Tuesday, styled himself as America’s best-known pimp and a strip-club owner who ran multiple brothels. He had nicknamed himself the “Trump from Pahrump,” after the town where he lived in Nevada.

“I feel very comfortable predicting that he is still going to win the election on November 6,” campaign manager Chuck Muth said in an interview, adding Republicans had a 2-to-1 advantage over Democrats in the state Assembly district in terms of voter registration.

Hof was running for a seat in a heavily Republican district and had been favoured to win.

If he is elected, the Reno Gazette Journal reported, the vacancy that spans constituencies in multiple counties will be filled via a joint meeting process headed by county commissioners.

The Democratic candidate for the seat, Lesia Romanov, was not immediately available for comment.

“There are a lot of Republicans who were uncomfortable voting for Dennis because of the nature of his business and they now know that he is not the one who will be serving,” Muth said.

“They will feel much more comfortable casting the ballot for him knowing there will be another Republican to replace him,” he added.

In a June interview from one of his brothels, Hof said his political fortunes had parallels with those of U.S. President Donald Trump.

“This really is the Trump movement,” Hof said in the interview at Moonlite BunnyRanch, his brothel near his home in Pahrump. “People will set aside for a moment their moral beliefs, their religious beliefs, to get somebody that is honest in office.”

After Hof won the June nominating contest for the state Assembly seat, some evangelicals in his district said they had voted for him because they believed he would clean up politics and not be beholden to special-interest groups and their money.

The thrice-divorced author of “The Art of the Pimp,” who appeared on HBO’s “Cat-house,” owned a strip club and five legal brothels in Nevada, the only U.S. state with legalized prostitution.


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…and so it happened in the land of massive recession and hardship, in the time of Buhari, a car

repair company is recalling cars they repaired that developed faults!

Almost seems like a fairy story right? You are probably waiting for someone to shout April

fool! Believe me, it isn’t going to happen. AUTOEASE LTD, an Automobile Auto body, Auto

Spray & Auto Bake Workshop based in Enugu is recalling cars they repaired that, get this – were

not up to AUTOEASE standards! Almost sounding like we are no longer in Nigeria, sounds like

what you hear from a global automobile brand right?

Recently on Enugu’s 92.5 Dream FM, on the Dream Breakfast Club hosted by the renowned

Jude “Uncle Jude” Thomas Dawam, C.E.O of AUTOEASE Ifeanyi Okeke brewed up a storm

when he made the announcement. I thought I miss-heard until he repeated himself and I was

amazed to no end. You mean there’s a company that recalls stuff in Nigeria? Since when?

The story was that AUTOEASE imports materials with which they conduct their business from

London, but due to some delay in shipment, they had to order from Lagos. Unfortunately, the

stock they ordered from Lagos, ended up being an inferior stuff, classic Nigerian bad quality.

Being an organization that values their reputation so much and also to ensure that they maintain

their reputation of turning up high quality maintenance and repairs, they decided to recall and

repair ALL the cars they worked on, those that don’t fit the bill of AUTOEASE Service Quality

at zero cost, yes, you heard me correctly, for free!

I have never heard our indigenous vehicle manufacturers ever recall their products even with all

the defects its customers have complained about over the years. As a matter of fact, in Nigeria,

its more of – you bought it and that’s your business! How many companies even actually take

Product Warranty serious? AUTOEASE AutoBody Shop has not only blazed the trail in World

Class Service Quality, but they have outdone themselves in further endearing themselves to their

prospective and present customers by offering after-service “servicing”. Here’s a company that

has made Enugu, Eastern Nigeria proud and Nigeria with this innovation.

The Customer is still King and Ifeanyi Okeke and his team at AUTOEASE proves that. Well-

done Guys!

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Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday ordered shutdown of the crossings between Gaza and Israel after Gaza militants fired rockets at Israel, a statement released by the Defense Ministry said.

According to the statement, Lieberman instructed the military to shut down the Erez Crossing, the only pedestrian passage between the besieged Palestinian enclave and Israel, and the Kerem Shalom Crossing, a passage for goods.

Lieberman also imposed further restrictions on the allowed fishing zone in Gaza.

The moves were retribution to rockets fired from Gaza at southern Israel earlier on Wednesday.

One rocket hit a residential home in the southern city of BeerSheba, causing damage.
Two people were injured as they ran to seek cover. Another rocket fell in the sea across central Israel shores.

In response, Israel launched a wide-scale air attack, targeting Hamas sites, according to the military.

At least one Palestinian was killed by the strikes and three others were injured, local media reported.

The escalation came after weeks of tensions. Gazans have been holding demonstrations near the fence separating Gaza from Israel since March 30, to protest blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt.

The protest includes occasional launching of helium-filled balloons to set fires in southern Israel’s arid farmlands.

Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes in Gaza on Wednesday morning after rockets were launched from the besieged Palestinian enclave, with one hitting a home in southern Israel.

“At this time IDF (Israel Defense Forces) fighter jets started attacking terror targets in the Gaza Strip,” a military spokesperson said in a statement just before 7 a.m. (0400 a.m. GMT).

At least three people were injured in the strikes on Gaza, according to local media.
A police spokesman said a rocket fired by militants from Gaza struck a residential home in the city of BeerSheba in southern Israel.

A spokesman for Magen David Adom medical emergency service said a mother and her three children whose home was struck were being treated for shock.

He said that two other people were injured during a panic to seek cover when the projectile triggered sirens across the city.

Later, another rocket fell short in the sea across the shore of central Israel, causing no damage or injuries, according to the police.

The municipality of BeerSheba said that in the wake of the strike, all of the city’s schools and kindergartens would remain closed Wednesday.

The rocket attack was one of the first in months and came amidst renewed tensions between Israel and Hamas.

The fire came less than a day after Lieberman said his country should deliver a “serious blow” to Gaza Strip’s Hamas.

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(dpa/NAN) A Thai Criminal Court on Wednesday found a jet-setting former Buddhist monk guilty of statutory rape, an Official told dpa.

Wirapol Sukphol, 39, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for raping and impregnating a 14-year-old girl between 2000 and 2001, an official who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

In August, he was handed a combined sentence of 114 years in jail for public fraud, money laundering and a computer crime violation.

However, a Thai law only allows a maximum of 20 years in prison, making his total imprisonment to 36 years.

Sukphol fled Thailand to the United States in 2013 after an arrest warrant was issued on him.

He was extradited back to Thailand in July 2017 after spending one year in a U.S. prison.

Months before Wirapol left Thailand, he made headlines when videos and photos surfaced showing him in brand-name sunglasses carrying a Louis Vuitton bag on a private jet.

Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country where monks are revered for their discipline and non-materialistic devotion.

The uproar over Sukphol’s inappropriate behavior and unusual wealth was soon followed by a string of accusations.

The accusation include scamming dozens of people up to 845,000 dollars in donations to fake causes advertised on his website.

Following many allegations, including alcohol consumption and claiming to have supernatural abilities, which violate Buddhist monastic rules, Sukphol was expelled from the monk-hood in 2017.

His assets of 1.3 million dollars have also been seized.

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Nearly a century of marijuana prohibition came to an end on Wednesday, 17th Oct. 2018, as Canada became the first major Western nation to legalize and regulate its sale and recreational use.

The change was praised by pot enthusiasts and investors in a budding industry that has seen pot stocks soar on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, but sharply questioned by some health professionals and opposition politicians.

“We’re not legalizing cannabis because we think it’s good for our health. We’re doing it because we know it’s not good for our children,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on the eve of the reform.

“We know we need to do a better job to protect our children and to eliminate or massively reduce the profits that go to organised crime.”

The Cannabis Act, which fulfills a promise Trudeau made in the 2015 election campaign, makes Canada only the second nation after Uruguay to legalize the drug.

Its implementation will be scrutinized and dissected by Canadians ahead of the next election in 2019, as well as other nations that the prime minister has said may follow suit if the measure proves a success.

Trudeau himself admitted in 2013 to having smoked pot five or six times in his life, including at a dinner party with friends after being elected to parliament.

He has also said that his late brother Michel was facing marijuana possession charges for a “tiny amount” of pot before his death in an avalanche in 1998, and that this influenced his decision to propose legalizing cannabis.

But Trudeau’s office told AFP he “does not plan on purchasing or consuming cannabis once it is legalized.”

In total, Statistics Canada says 5.4 million Canadians will buy cannabis from legal dispensaries in 2018 — about 15 percent of the population. Around 4.9 million already smoke.

Stores in St. John’s in the Atlantic island province of Newfoundland were due to open their doors to pot enthusiasts as of 12:01 am local time (0231 GMT) on Wednesday.

“I’m going to have a lot more variety than the black market dealers, so you have a lot more choice at our store. The prices are very comparable,” Thomas Clarke, owner of THC Distribution store, told public broadcaster CBC just prior to the big event.

Under the new regulations, Canadians at least 18 or 19 years old (soon to be 21 in Quebec) will be allowed to buy up to 30 grams of cannabis, and grow up to four plants at home.

A patchwork of private and public cannabis retail stores and online sales have been set up across the 13 provinces and territories, ramping up to 300 storefronts by year’s end, the government predicts.

To meet demand, hundreds of growers have been licensed, some taking over horticulture and floral-culture greenhouses.

This new industry has attracted billions in funding, as well as interest from alcohol and soft drink makers such as Constellation Brands and Coca-Cola, respectively, which have expressed an interest in developing cannabis infused drinks.

Cannabis sales are forecast to boost economic growth by up to Can$1.1 billion and provide a Can$400 million tax revenue windfall for the government, according to Statistics Canada.

Public health officials contend that smoking cannabis is as harmful as tobacco, but welcome what they call the opportunity that legalization affords for open dialogue.

Some doctors, however, remain wary. Diane Kelsall, editor in chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, called legalization “a national, uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians.”

Police, meanwhile, are scrambling to prepare for a predicted uptick in drug-impaired driving.

It’s unclear as yet if the new framework will succeed in undercutting the black market, as prices for illicit pot have plunged in the last year to an average of Can$6.79 per gram, and most sellers had planned to charge more.

Bill Blair, a former police chief in Toronto who is Trudeau’s point-man for pot legalization, remains optimistic.

“For almost a century, criminal enterprises had complete control of this market, 100 percent of its production and distribution and they profited in the billions of dollars each year. I suspect they’re not going to go gently into the night,” he told AFP.

“But the fact that some individuals want to cling to a prohibition model that has led to the highest rates of cannabis use of any country in the world is a little shocking to me,” he said.

According to a recent Abacus Data poll published on Monday, 70 percent of Canadians accept or support legalization.


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(Sputnik/NAN) The Russian side of the Russian-Turkish Commission monitoring the implementation of the Syrian ceasefire has registered seven truce breaches in the past 24 hours, Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry said in its daily bulletin, that no violations were however, reported by the Turkish side.

It added that “over the last 24 hours, the Russian party of the Russia-Turkey Commission on violations of the Joint Agreement registered seven cases of firing in the province of Latakia 2, Aleppo 5.”

The ministry stated that its Center for Syrian Reconciliation held no humanitarian actions over the past 24 hours and the number of areas, which signed reconciliation agreements remained the same.

The number of armed formations claiming that they observed the ceasefire did not change either, standing at 234.

Russia, together with Turkey and Iran, is a guarantor of the ceasefire in Syria.

Moscow had also been assisting Damascus by supporting the government forces’ fight against terrorist groups and providing humanitarian aid to civilians.

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Prof. Pat Utomi, the Delta State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had on Monday, related the Nigeria problem to the peoples over dependence on the government. 

Utomi, a renowned economist made this statement at the High Level Public-Private Sector Forum with the theme: “Democracy that Delivers”, organised by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Abuja.

He said;

“There is too much obsession with government and we need to get other ways out of this.

“The obsession with government has made everyone too dependent on government.

“We need some balancing so that development can take place in the country.

“This can be done especially when every family is business oriented.”
Utomi challenged families to place more value on economy by establishing businesses that would empower them to stand on their own thereby leaning less on the government.

He said that people would even be empowered economically to drive the political process of the nation because in other climes, businessmen sponsor politics.

Utomi said that ultimately there would be less tussle for elective positions and the rule of law would also be upheld.

According to him, democracy grows where there is respect for rule of law and organs of government.

He expressed worry about the conduct of most of those in high profile offices, saying that many of them did not have the capacity for the positions they were serving.

Utomi called for comprehensive profiles of politicians to enable political parties know the people they were saddling with responsibilities.

He said that this would keep the right people in the right places.

The Country Director of the IRI, Sentell Barnes said that political parties continued to fall short of responding to the needs of the citizens.

“Nigeria witnessed the first defeat of an incumbent party by the opposition party for a shift in power in 2015.

“In spite of this, political parties continue to fall short in responding to citizen’s needs and providing critical oversight and accountability of government action.

“Parties are not ideology based, instead they are influenced by wealthy individuals and elected executive office holders who fund party administration and usurp powers of party leaders.

“This trend prevents political parties from exercising their independence and truly representing the consensus within the political parties,”he said.

Barnes said that political parties had consistently neglected their role in generating ideas and policies that would be responsive to citizens’ priorities and concerns.

He added that there were many reasons for business men to have stake in operating within democratic institutions.

He said that this was because free market itself was a key ingredient of democracy.

He said that unleashing the powers of individual entrepreneur in the market place to compete freely had been shown to be critical to a successful economy and to a healthy society.

The News Agency of Nugeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised by NDI in collaboration with USAID, Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

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 Egypt’s top appeal court on Monday upheld a three-year prison sentence and hefty damages on deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on charges of insulting the judiciary, state media reported.

The Court of Cassation also confirmed the same sentence for 19 other defendants in the same case.

The initial sentence was issued in 2017 by the Cairo Criminal Court that convicted Morsi of defaming the judiciary in a televised speech he made in 2013 when he was in power.

In his speech, Morsi accused a judge of overseeing fraud in previous elections.

The criminal court had also ordered Morsi to pay one million Egyptian pounds (56,270 dollars) in damages to that judge.

Five other defendants were ordered to pay a fine of 30,000 Egyptian pounds each in the case.

They include Alaa Abdel-Fatah, a leading pro-democracy campaigner, who rose to prominence during the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time dictator Hosny Mubarak.

Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president was toppled by the army in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.

He has been tried in several different cases since his ouster.

Morsi is serving a final sentence of 20 years in prison in a separate case related to inciting deadly attacks on anti-Islamist protesters in 2012.

In 2017, the Court of Cassation upheld a separate 25-year jail sentence for Morsi on charges of harming national security by leaking secret state documents to his ally Qatar while he was in office.


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